Financial Nutrition® for Young Women

How (and Why) to Teach Girls about Money

by Melissa Donohue, EdD
Foreword by Molly Donohue


While gaining financial competency has always been important, the recent financial meltdown has heightened the need for young people to approach money intelligently.

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Cover image for Financial Nutrition® for Young Women

September 2017


Pages 163
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Business/Finance, Investments and Banking
  Women's Studies/Business and Labor
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A powerful resource for all women who want a better understanding of financial empowerment, this book provides an easy-to-follow approach for adults to teach girls about money—and for girls to do some learning on their own.

Women earn 78 cents on the dollar, on average, compared to men in America, despite decades of fighting for wage equality. And while it is true that women have significantly more opportunities for earning than in past eras, this improved ability for women to determine their own financial future makes it more important that girls understand the strategies for financial success.

Financial Nutrition® for Young Women: How (and Why) to Teach Girls about Money addresses the two critical levels that are necessary to truly eradicate women's economic inequality: what to teach girls and what women need to learn. Authored by a financial educator who is also a mother and a teacher, this book is for people who care about teenage girls—parents and other family members, educators, financial advisors, troop leaders, camp directors, and community organization leaders. The talking points and independent activities are easily accessible and engaging for both adults and students. Financial Nutrition® for Young Women: How (and Why) to Teach Girls about Money can be used effectively in the home, the classroom, afterschool programs, clubs, and camps, as well as in girls' organizations. It can also be a resource to women who want to better understand how to empower themselves financially.


  • Supplies a detailed presentation of core financial concepts in a manner that anyone can easily grasp so that parents can feel confident in their own financial understanding
  • Authored by a mother, teacher, and financial educator who is uniquely qualified to bring the importance of mastering core financial concepts and acquiring real-world money management skills to light
  • Presents ways that girls can try the financial learning activities from the book when it fits in their schedules—after school, in the evenings, or on weekends
  • Includes stories from the author's work with girls and young women over the past decade, providing adults with a better sense of this generation's viewpoints
Author Info

Melissa Donohue, EdD, is president and founder of Financial Nutrition®, a nonprofit organization focused on girls' financial literacy and economic empowerment, and has more than 20 years of experience in finance, financial journalism, and financial education. She is a financial literacy expert with a research focus on women and adolescent girls, and she has extensive experience creating innovative and creative financial education curricula as well as direct classroom experience teaching teens about finance. Prior to her work in financial education, Donohue worked in financial journalism for nine years as a writer, editor, and segment producer, most recently at Bloomberg LP in New York. She also has significant experience in finance, having worked in emerging market debt trading and analysis at Swiss Bank Corporation and Wasserstein Perella, both in New York, and in alternative investment analysis in Amherst, MA. Donohue earned a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; a master's degree in international affairs with a specialization in international banking and finance from Columbia University; and a bachelor's degree in government from Oberlin College.



"It is time for all of us to stop buying into the myth that women are less financially capable than men. In this book, Melissa Donohue eloquently discusses the complex reasons behind this myth and offers a solution for empowering the next generation of women to be more financially savvy and self-assured. This is a must read for anyone with a young girl in her life."—Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, Author of Breaking Money Silence: How to Shatter Money Taboos, Talk More Openly about Finances, and Live a Richer Life

"Anyone familiar with the research knows that girls learn differently than boys and that as women they will face unique financial challenges. Financial Nutrition for Young Women equips girls (and their parents) for a financial world that is still inhospitable to women throughout their lives. Melissa Donohue shows that overcoming socialization, modifying behavior, increasing entrepreneurship, and embracing investments are uniquely necessary to help girls find their financial voices and make the life choices that are best for them. Donohue's chapter on managing your income and tips about handling mortgages are especially important."—Andrew O. Smith, Author of Financial Literacy for Millennials

"Financial responsibility and knowledge are intertwined, and women often have too little of the former and, for that reason, not enough opportunities to learn about the financial realm. This puts them at a disadvantage in their interactions with employers, partners, and with others who provide services ranging from health care to home repair. The cure lies in educating young women and girls, and Financial Nutrition for Young Women teaches readers both money management skills and confidence-building negotiating skills, ensuring that the next generation of women start with a level playing field in dealing with money matters."—Linda Babcock, James M. Walton Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University and Coauthor of Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want

"Closing the gender gap in financial capability is important for us as a country economically and socially. And it's important for us as parents, educators, and members of civil society to foster a broader and deeper understanding of what it takes to be financially healthy. Financial Nutrition® for Young Women: How (and Why) to Teach Girls about Money is a step in the right direction toward helping women of all ages build and maintain their financial health and security."—Jeanne M. Hogarth, Vice President, Center for Financial Services Innovation

"Financial Nutrition® for Young Women sparkes in serving up the financial info that every girl deserves to know! Encouraging and practical, this smart book offers a clear recipe for how you can provide your girl—or yourself!—the means to create a life of financial security and freedom. I recommend this book as a must-read for mother-daughter groups. Get this book today!"—SuEllen Hamkins, MD, Coauthor, The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds and Thrive Through Adolescence; Cofounder, The Mother-Daughter Project


2018 IPPY Award Bronze Medal in Finance/Investment/Economics category — Independent Publisher

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