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Many of the nation’s teenagers advance into adulthood without learning the necessary skills that lead to financial independence and well-being. The Money Matters: Make It CountSM program is a collaboration between Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Charles Schwab Foundation to address this gap in financial literacy.

Money Matters was created to promote financial literacy among teens by building basic money management skills. Through fun, experiential activities and exercises on topics like using a checking account, learning how to budget, managing debt, and saving for college, teens ages 13-18 learn practical ways to save, spend and invest their money. The program was rolled out in 2004 to Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide.


The Money Matters program is offered through teen-serving Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide, making this program available to a large population of teens who might not normally have access to education about personal finance and money management — including the large percentage of Club members who come from economically disadvantaged circumstances.

Money Matters has proven effective in making a positive impact on teens. An independent evaluation of the program in 2008 found participants were more likely to demonstrate improved financially related behaviors. This included statistically significant increases for opening checking accounts, applying for part-time jobs, developing spending plans and beginning to save money regularly.

Since 2004, Charles Schwab Foundation has presented more than $560,000 in college scholarship grants to teens who completed the program and demonstrated their newly acquired financial literacy skills.


Boys & Girls Clubs and Charles Schwab Foundation have made a commitment to help teens become financially capable. We are looking to bring awareness to financial capability beginning in teen years. Please follow Boys & Girls Clubs and Charles Schwab on Social Media to keep track of the exciting impact we are making during Financial Literacy Month and beyond.


  • In 2015, BGCA launched the Reality Store as a new addition to the Money Matters program. This 90-minute hands-on learning experience gives teens a dose of ‘reality’ and helps them understand how the choices they make about career and money can have a dramatic impact on their future. Adapted for use by Boys and Girls Clubs of America from the Indiana Women’s Education Foundation.
  • In 2016, BGCA launched $ky, an arcade-style, free online game for teens promoting financial responsibility by emphasizing how early decisions impact our long-term financial health. Teens learn the importance of setting short- and long-term life goals and thoughtful decision making through this innovative and relevant digital approach.
  • In March 2017, BGCA and Charles Schwab Foundation received an Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Award for the category Instructional Game: Teen for the launch of $ky.


Rachel V. Smith
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Director, Youth Development – Operations

The Charles Schwab Foundation is a nonprofit, private foundation, classified by the IRS as a charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is neither a part of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC) nor its parent company, The Charles Schwab Corporation. (0618-8LHS)