Being & becoming financially literate in a South Texas community: Valuing the funds to practice literacy




Munoz, Henrietta Lynn

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A healthy and productive economy requires the full participation of all sectors of society; those who are financially self sufficient and those who are trying to achieve financial self sufficiency (Wheary, 2005). Low financial literacy can "contribute to the making of poor financial choices that can be harmful to both individuals and communities" (Jacob et al., 2000, p. 8). Moreover, a balanced economy assures a participatory system where both consumption and economic equality is valued and practiced.

This research combines two fields of study: financial literacy and education. Learning to be and become financially literate in a South Texas community is the process I investigate by incorporating a transformational mixed methods design. Multiple quantitative and qualitative data sets are used to uncover a process by which individuals learn and practice how to become financially stable in this community. Three recommendations emerge from the study; (1) financial literacy must be treated as a long-term, repetitive process; (2) appropriate educational contexts, materials, and methods are needed for low and moderate income individuals; and (3) programming should exploit moments of motivation.

The data collected reveals that behavior changes with the current financial literacy quality and standard within this community. However, the number of those accessing the financial mainstream and achieving stability can and should improve. Thus, the study provides suggestions to incorporate a funds of knowledge pedagogical approach to teaching and learning financial literacy while maintaining a life-long learning relationship through a community of practice. I propose that these additions to the current programming will increase the quality and quantity of those receiving and achieving financial stability and sustainability. This study extends the current financial literacy literature by going from talk to action.


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Adult Literacy, Asset Development, Community of Practice, Financial Literacy, Free Tax Preparation



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies