During 2015, of Florida’s 7.5 million households, 3.3 million struggled to afford their basic necessities; things such as housing, food, child and health care, and transportation. The cost of basic household expenses increased steadily in every county in Florida between 2007-2015. While low wage jobs continue to dominate the Florida landscape, the amount needed to bring households to financial stability has grown faster than wages and government spending. Many people continue to lack the resources to achieve financial self-sufficiency and stability. To bridge the gap, United Way created their Income Council to create financial literacy and financial stability solutions.

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Financial Literacy for Adults
  • Bankruptcy filings in Florida grew from 50,000 in 2008 to 78,635 in 2013.
  • The average credit card debt for Americans as of March 2013 is $15,266.
  • 1/3 of Americans (more than 77 million) do not pay their bills on time
  • 20-28% of Americans borrow from their 401k plans, using the funds as emergency savings instead of an investment for the future.
Financial Literacy for Youth
  • One-third of teenagers are already in debt, owing either some individual or corporation money at levels greater than $1,000.
  • A child with a savings account is seven times more likely to go to college.
  • Student Debt – Florida’s average student debt load is now over $23,000, compared to $26,600 nationally.
  • Florida’s public research institutions rank 47th in the nation in cost, but the state ranks 33rd in the nation in student debts
  • Students in states with required financial education courses are more likely to save, pay off their credit cards, and take average financial risks, and less likely to be compulsive buyers, max out their credit cards, or make late payments compared to those who have not had these courses.
The Working Poor
  • 46.1% of Poor Families are employed.
  • 31.6% of working families in poverty have a parent with some postsecondary education.
  • Almost 44% of working poor families lack a parent with a high school degree, and over 52% of these families have at least one parent without health insurance.
  • 29.6% of Florida households are asset poor (assets they do have are overwhelmed by debt).
  • 51.9% of Florida households are liquid asset poor (have less than three months of savings to fall back on in the event of a job loss or other income-disrupting emergency).

Can you imagine a community where financial challenges become opportunities?

We can.