Reading Days Kick Off Financial Capability Month

DFI joins partners - including FEPPP and Jump$tart Washington – in supporting and promoting financial education for Washington residents of all ages

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is pleased to be one of the many partners celebrating April 2016 as Financial Capability Month in our state. Understanding the importance of financial education, Washington Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed April as Financial Capability Month.

This month presents opportunities for partners like DFI, the Jump$tart Washington Coalition and the Financial Education Public-Private Partnership (FEPPP) to collectively highlight and support the work being done in our state to increase and improve financial education - and urge that more be done to improve the financial capability of all Washington residents.

“As a state agency working to promote a more prosperous economy and better quality of life for Washington residents, we recognize the importance for families to understand how to prepare budgets, have emergency savings and plan for retirement,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “The many partners promoting Washington’s Financial Capability Month are helping residents access the resources they need to reach those goals.”

With organizations regularly assessing our nation's financial literacy, results continue to illustrate the need for personal finance education both in and outside of the home:

WalletHub’s recently released information on “2016’s Most & Least Financially Literate States” puts Washington 34th in the nation for overall ranking, with a “Wallet Literacy” rank of 15, “Planning & Daily Habits” at 23, and “Knowledge & Education” at 41.  (Details at

Results from the Financial Industry Regulator Authority (FINRA) Foundation’s 2012 State-by-State Financial Capability Survey reveal that:

  • Only 39% of Washington residents surveyed reported spending less than their income.
  • Sadly, 25% reported having unpaid medical bills.
  • More than half (54%) do not have rainy-day savings to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies.
  • More than a third (37%) reported paying only the minimum credit card payment during the past year.
  • On a test of five basic financial literacy questions, the national average was 2.88 correct answers – 56% of Washington State participants got three or fewer correct.

[FINRA Investor Education Foundation,]

"The goal of Basic Education in Washington State aims to provide opportunities for each student to develop the essential knowledge and skills that enable him or her ‘to contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families and communities’," FEPPP Chair Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos said. “Financial Capability month is the perfect time for every Washingtonian to recommit to this vision of success for our youth by supporting financial education in our schools."

Representatives from local community groups, financial institutions, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, libraries, government agencies and media outlets will conduct classes, seminars and other activities to educate consumers about money management and generating awareness of financial education available on a wide range of topics.

Kicking off Financial Capability month, teachers and community leaders began participating in the Jump$tart Washington Coalition’s Reading Days. Reading Days brings community leaders into elementary schools to read “Lily Learns About Wants and Needs” by Lisa Bullard and talk about the importance of making wise money decisions. Early participants include:

  • April 1: Bothell Deputy Mayor Davina Duerr is reading at Woodmoor Elementary School to Cally Ingram’s fifth grade class.
  • April 12: Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart is reading at Roosevelt Elementary School to LaTonya Simmons’ and Justine Hudson’s first grade classes.
  • April 13: Redmond Mayor John Marchione is reading at Redmond Elementary School to Mrs. Huseman’s, Ms. Kubat’s, and Ms. Findley’s fourth grade classes.
  • April 14: Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent is reading at West Hills STEM Academy to Mary Anne Craig and Rachel Chamberlain’s third grade class.

“In addition to providing information online and free workshops in communities throughout Washington,” Jarvis added, “DFI continues to seek additional collaborative partnerships to foster further implementation of financial education for all residents at every stage of life — from pre-K to assisted living.”

DFI’s Financial Education Clearinghouse provides access to resources - from budgeting and saving, credit and debt, to health care and mortgages, and has a special section on avoiding scams – into a single site.

For more information about DFI outreach, workshops, partners, programs and information, visit and follow us on Twitter @DFIConsumers and @FinEd4All, our financial education blog and Facebook

About ▪ 360-902-8700 ▪ 877-RINGDFI (746-4334)
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, DFI uses the Web and social media to provide financial education information:

Katrina Roy, Reading Days Coordinator
PH 360-664-7887,

Media Contact

Lyn Peters, Director of Communications

PH (360) 902-8731 or

DFI Main Phone Number

1.877.RING DFI (746-4334)