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  • Giselle Smith

First48 Financial Education Alliance

Have you ever wished to be more budget-savvy or to have a better under standing of everything money from interest to saving to tax to insurance? Yeah, me too. First48 Financial Education Alliance is a local non-profit based in Hardin County. Many know Alex Todd and Jimmy Schmidt as educators and coaches, but the duo have been working behind the scenes on something big. Their mission is to provide common sense, agenda-free financial education for people in all walks of life... And they want to give this knowledge to high school students across the state for FREE. The non-profit is raising dollars to provide workbooks and video trainings for teachers and students across the Bluegrass State at no cost to schools. Together with board members Al Rider, Austin Todd and Justin Jenkins, they have reached non-profit status and are kicking off fundraising efforts this season! Be sure to scroll all the way through to meet the board members joining the mission to give the gift of financial literacy across the state!

First48 Financial Education Alliance received an official nonprofit status in April 2020. The concept of First48 was born in 2008 with a meeting between First48 CEO/Founder Alex Todd and Board Chairman Al Rider. At the time, Rider encouraged Todd that his idea for a financial literacy graduation requirement in Kentucky wasn’t crazy and was actually vital to individuals, the state, and national economies.

Todd pursued a financial literacy graduation requirement in Kentucky for the next twelve years. The details of that journey will be released soon in his upcoming book. The journey included six pieces of failed legislation in the Kentucky General Assembly from 2014-2020. The one bill that passed, Kentucky House Bill 132, was hijacked by greed, politics, and hypocrisy, as Todd writes about in the untitled book.

Frustrated by the entire process, Todd and Rider were reconnected over a decade later to provide a way to interject quality financial education in a society that sees 78% of folks living paycheck to paycheck. While Todd’s journey was fueled by the 2008 recession, First48 begins with the Covid-19 financial crisis taking root. The need for quality financial education has never been greater in the history of the United States. First48 wants to be a part of the solution.

Todd and Rider are joined by Legato Financial Group’s Justin Jenkins and Austin Todd (Alex’s Nephew). Jenkins and Todd were also seeing the critical need for financial education in their investment firm. To them, the symptoms of bad financial behaviors were prevalent in all walks of life. Jimmy Schmidt is the final board member that brings a vast array of experience in the big business sector. Schmidt has seen firsthand how financial education can benefit the employer and the employee. Financial wellness programs are one of the most revered job benefits sought out by employees.

The First48 Financial Education Alliance wants to provide financial education in various sectors: families, school curriculum, churches, and employers. These are the four pillars of society that are vital to improving the financial education of our communities.

  • First, financial education starts at home around the kitchen table. As Todd points out, this has been eroding for decades because financial education has simply been ignored.

  • Second, schools are a vital place to learn because they provide the opportunity to reach teenagers at the perfect time in their financial journey. Todd even points out that the thing that bothers him the most is the number of adults that say, “I wish I had that class in high school,” referring to financial literacy. First48 wants to end that sentiment.

  • Third, many church leaders are also struggling with tackling biblical finance with the congregation. It is a tough topic from the pulpit, even though money and possessions are one of the most talked-about topics in the Bible, and tackling the topic is one of the keys to eliminating financial illiteracy.

  • Finally, employers are finding the real financial benefit of offering quality financial education at the workplace. Educating their employees reduces money stress and worry, which increases their effectiveness. The return on investment of financial wellness programs for employers can set their company and organization apart from others.

What does the name mean? The eight-hour-a-day worker logs a total of 480 minutes a day. A good start for all of us is to be intentional with the money we earn in the first 48 minutes (10%) of work. The other important word in the name is “Alliance.” We are all tied together by money. While success or failure with handling money is an intensely personal battle for families, it is also a benefit to the financial health of each state and our country. In short, we all benefit from a financially literate society. In fact, First48 will be successful when there is no longer a need for First48. That will be a great day.

Are you involved with any local non-profits? We would love to see how you're giving back to the community. Tag us on Instagram at @ElizabethtownLifestyle! Follow on your favorite social sites: Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. In addition, you can tag us in your Instagram posts (#elizabethtownlifestyle)! As always, thanks so much for joining us on the blog!

Lots of love Elizabethtown,

Meet the Board First Row: Chairman of the Board, Al Rider & Chief Curriculum Officer, Jimmy Schmidt. Second Row: Board Members Austin Todd & Justin Jenkins.

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