Smart Cents Program

4‑H and TD Ameritrade are bringing financial empowerment to young people everywhere through the research-backed program “Smart Cents.”

Smart Cents helps young people develop financial skills and healthy habits that have been shown to have a positive long term effect on financial health, including:

  • Learning how to make personal financial plans.
  • Learning goal-setting, impulse control and mindfulness when it comes to financial decisions.
  • Making informed financial decisions that may lead to the accumulation of wealth and increased opportunities.
TD Ameritrade Smart Cents

How Does It Work?

As part of the Smart Cents program, 4‑H educators from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have teamed up with skilled professionals from TD Ameritrade to create a peer reviewed financial literacy playbook, which local educators across the country can use to implement research-backed curricula.

Smart Cents encourages a community-based approach to financial empowerment by bringing together local organizations, schools and informal educators to deliver research-backed programs to young people in underserved communities and their families.

Save Smart

Grades: 6-12

There are many options when choosing a financial institution, including nationwide banks, locally owned community banks, online-only banks and member-owned credit unions.

This activity shows kids and teens how to compare financial institutions and lets them decide what factors are important in choosing the one that’s right for them

Do I Really Need That?

Grades: 3-8

Learning the difference between needs and wants is part of better understanding how to make sound decisions about money. Using a cut-and-paste technique on paper, kids will create an infographic showing pictures of their wants and needs, identifying which are most important to them.

Charge It?

Grades: 7-12

Credit cards are convenient and can be great tools if used wisely. But it’s important to understand how they work and their potential pitfalls. This activity introduces the cost of using credit by showing kids the real amounts that the same item costs when it’s paid for in different ways.

Banking Your Money

Grades: 7-12

This activity teaches kids the concept of financial interest, and how to calculate it. It assumes a basic level of computer/technology literacy, specifically how to use an internet-connected device and the basic ability to navigate the internet. You’ll also need a calculator.

My Work, My Future

Grades 4-8

In this activity, youth explore career interests and answer questions to help them think about aspects of their future careers.