Financial Literacy Resources for Leaders!

We’ve all seen it… A young service member pulls into the parking lot on Monday morning with a new car. Her direct supervisor asks her about it and she tells him she got a great deal… only 25% interest! The car salesman and lender set her up to pay over $42,000 in 60 months for a $25,000 car. The car payments are set to hinder her financial situation for the next six years, and when she’s finished paying it off the car will be worth $11,000.

We often joke about such matters, but high interest loans on vehicles create financial hurdles for many junior service members.

In an alternative world, you as a leader have taught the same service member about the importance of investing for the future. She understands that she won’t be in the military forever and invests the $587 a month she would have spent on the car with an average annual return of 8% — the average return for the S&P500 over the course of history. Six years later she has $53,000 and makes a down payment on an investment property that nets her an additional $400 per month.

In these two opposing realities, the key difference is leader involvement. As a leader in the military, we are taught that our role goes beyond the surface of leadership in day to day activities. Taking an interest in the financial future of our subordinates demonstrates that we care and has the positive impact of creating a virtuous cycle — young service members learn from each other as they make positive financial decisions at a young age. Taking that initial step to educate young service members as a leader has a profound impact that could make a lifetime of difference. As a Company Commander, Platoon Leader, or in other leadership capacities, setting that precedent from the start makes a difference.

Recently, a friend of mine reached out to see if I had any products that I’ve used to teach financial literacy in the past. The table below gives a link to a Google Drive that shares some of those products. The first two links are baseline briefs that can be used to teach financial literacy (think immediately after taking command or starting as a PL). At around 20 slides, this 20 minute presentation can save you hours of heartache in the future by ensuring that your formation is equipped to make sound financial decisions (saving you a portion of the 80% of your time you would spend on 20% of your formation).

The fist link includes military money matters logos and the second is blank — adaptable to your unit’s needs. The table includes a future growth function for flyers and other products that can be used to teach financial literacy. Bear in mind that each product is not intended to endorse any products or programs — but is merely designed as an educational tool. Many of your junior service members may also be familiar with some of these programs so tailor it to your target audience. Each product is carefully researched and curated to ensure that your service members get the financial education that they deserve.

Financial Considerations for Military Life (Logos)Link Here
Financial Considerations for Military Life (Blank)Link Here
Car Buying FlyerTBP
House Buying FlyerTBP

Have any products you’d like to share? Please send them to or comment below!

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