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Why We Should Talk About Money: Q&A with Randy Houk, Executive Director of FitMoney

At FitMoney, we’re helping families and classrooms all across the country to move forward on their own journey toward becoming financially literate. Whether you’re logging on to the $uperSquad as a class or learning to discuss money at the dinner table, we’re excited to be there with you every step of the way.

FitMoney is here to provide curriculum and resources to help you on your financial literacy journey.

However, financial literacy isn’t as widely taught as you might think. Many parents say it’s the subject they wish they had learned in school and today’s students are hoping to build those life-long habits before they leave the classroom.

This month, FitMoney welcomed Randy Houk as Executive Director, so we asked her about her own journey and passion towards continuing our mission of financial literacy for all.

Why is it important that financial literacy education be accessible?

Financial literacy is a skill every adult will need for their lifetime. Whether you’re making a decision at the grocery store, buying a car, taking out a student loan, or even planning a vacation, the skills you build early on prove time and time again to be valuable. Financial literacy isn’t just math, either. It’s a lot more than adding, subtracting, and balancing a budget. It’s about the behaviors and instincts that lead us towards financially fit lives.

No state requires financial education in elementary or middle school. Only half of states mandate a financial literacy course before high school graduation. A very large percentage of the country lacks these financial skills, resulting in few resources for an emergency, vulnerability to fraud and high interest rates, lower paying jobs and so forth.

Why do you think financial literacy isn’t more widely discussed?

It can be really difficult to talk about money. It’s not commonly discussed as a family or even between friends in our own community. The best way to begin building these habits is in the classroom and at home by talking about money, how to budget and plan, when to save, what are the advantages and risks of credit, and other financial topics.

In addition to providing unbiased, free curriculum to K-12 educators, caregivers, and families, FitMoney helps start these conversations. There are great financial literacy resources on our website for families of all kinds - and definitely more to come!

What excites you about leading the FitMoney team?

I’ve had the great privilege of working with many communities throughout my nonprofit career. It’s amazingly rewarding to see them become empowered with money management skills, improve their credit ratings, and move forward with confidence.

FitMoney has done an amazing job at building its curriculum. The $uperSquad games are fun and relatable for elementary aged kids. The Junior Certificate program for middle-schoolers and the Certificate Program for older kids are so thoughtful, and incorporate challenges any young person can relate to.

I really value how FitMoney, in addition to ensuring an accessible curriculum, meets every student and family where they are. Not everyone needs the same resources, but we all need financial literacy.

FitMoney is here to provide curriculum and resources to help you on your financial literacy journey.

Do you have any fun facts FitMoney families would find interesting?

I was given my first dog at age 5. I remember because she scratched my poison ivy and I cried for an hour. But I became absolutely devoted to “Pixie”, and as a result, committed to humane treatment of animals and environmental preservation. 

I spent over two decades managing my own multimedia publishing company where I produced original stories that taught children about animal protection and endangered species. I’ve also authored 11 stories with The Humane Society of the United States. Education has always inspired me to create and connect with people, which is why I’m thrilled to be part of the FitMoney team.

What’s one takeaway you’d give to anyone reading?

Children form their financial habits by age 7, yet less than 5% include financial literacy in those early years. By learning early and building healthy financial behaviors young, we can see lasting impact on today’s (and future!) generations.

I encourage everyone to visit to find a resource that’s right for them. And, with any questions, we’re just an email away!


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