Financial Literacy Goes YA


YA is publishing jargon for ‘young adult’. It describes a genre of fiction designed to appeals to teenagers. And this is the group of people who, if we educate them properly, can make the biggest impact on our economy the soonest. So it’s great that someone is making an effort to entertain them and teach them about money at the same time. The problem is that when financially literate adults try to create something cool for kids, it’s usually a disaster. Take the dreadful Treasury campaign for example.

When I read about the new ‘Buck the Norm’ campaign produced by Oklahoma based Tinker Federal Credit Union to educate young adults about money matters, I couldn’t wait to watch it – so I could pan it. My pre-judgment was based partially the Treasury Department’s similar attempt and partially on the fact that Oklahoma City isn’t exactly the cultural hotbed of America. (I don’t say that as a coast dwelling media elite either – I’m right here in Middle America!)

However, I have to admit the video is not bad. The tune is catchy and the message is on point. Instead of going for a be-responsible-with-your-money angle, they encourage young adults to consume less and not buy into the oppression of the Marketing Man and the Credit Card Man. Rebel and sustain!

The associated website,, is pretty good too. Despite needing to be updated with a little more regularity, there is good information and interactivity. Along with information on how to get a truly free credit report, advice on interviewing and resume development, and a glossary of financial terms, they’re running a video contest, offering downloadable art and ring tones, and featuring some pretty decent local music.

In the words of Matt Stratton, TFCU Senior Vice President of Marketing:

“Personal financial management doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.”

Buck it, baby!