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Strategic Partnerships for Financial Coaching. S. Taylor. scottetaylor@ufl.edu. UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County, 16110 Aviation Loop, Brooksville, FL 34604.

1)Situation/Target Audience/Objectives: The Hernando County Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program provides education in basic money management and financial matters to both youth and adults. To achieve this, strategic partnerships with community organizations have been developed to identify and educate those residents with financial challenges. FCS, along with United Way, County Government, religious organizations, financial institutions, Family Endeavors, and other Community Support Organizations wanted to get basic financial tools and educational programming to residents seeking financial assistance. As a result of multiple financial literacy programs made possible by collaborations within the community, 50% of participants will learn to plan and track their savings-spending, either individually or as a family; 25% of participants will identify the positive aspects of a good spending plan and begin steps to plug spending leaks through some form of budgeting, as evidenced by increased emergency savings available, and participants no longer living paycheck to paycheck. 2) Educational Methods: The Money Calendar is the foundation to help first time clients learn how to track their expenses and develop a budget. If they return for additional assistance, they must bring their calendar and show they have been accurately tracking their expenses and spending and prove there is a true need for assistance, not just a “spending or priority” problem. Second chance bank accounts are also available to residents to help re-establish their financial status and get out of the check cashing, buy here pay here cycle. 3) Results: These partnerships have resulted in more than 7000 residents attending programs and workshops since 2009. Of those, 63% have started tracking expenses (approximately 4400). Of those tracking, 53% established a planned savings program, 23% have improved their financial situation enough to use mainstream financial institutions, and 13% now realize how expensive eating out is compared to preparing and eating at home. 4) Conclusions: Partnering with local community service organizations, and developing customized educational models, has provided life-altering information to residents. Instead of competing, FCS has become a valuable educational resource for agencies to meet their clientele’s needs.

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