Making Sense Out of Money

Downtown Library hosts the Manatee Chamber of Commerce's Big Bank Theory
Posted on 01/22/2018

Seriously, plumbing issues?Manatee Chamber of Commerce at Downtown Library the afternoon of Saturday, January 20. The approximately 30 participants were each given a profile of a 25 year old. Some were lucky and had good-paying jobs, while others struggled and had to seek additional employment or trade their car in for bus passes. Several volunteers worked stations for housing, transportation, education, banking, utilities, etc. How did the teens fare? Some had to trade their cars in for bus passes, obtain cheaper housing and get second jobs, while others were able to pay for luxury items, go on vacation and invest in a 401(k).

The program was made possible by a grant from the American Library Association and FINRA Investor Education Foundation.

Scenes from other Thinking Money Programs at Manatee Libraries:

Scenes From Thinking Money

Press Release: November 16, 2017

New Exhibit and Programming Makes Finance More Understandable for Tweens & Teens

Manatee County Libraries announced a new exhibit today to help tweens, teens and their parents/guardians gain a better understanding of the financial world in order to make smart financial choices.

The Thinking Money traveling exhibit, which will be made available to the public at Downtown Library, from December 15, 2017, to January 20, 2018, offers fun, interactive adventure-themed iPad content and hands-on activities to help make the life-long financial journey a smooth ride. Topics include wants vs. needs, earning and paying interest, preparing for rainy/sunny day, imagining your future self and avoiding financial fraud.

Thinking Money was created by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Education Foundation, in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) to help combat the growing credit card debt problems among Americans aged 18 to 34. Manatee Libraries was one of the 50 library systems nationwide selected to host the 1,000-square-foot exhibition via a grant, which includes a $1,000 programming allowance.

Related programming, which will take place at all six of Manatee County’s libraries, is as follows:

Tweens & Teens (ages 8 to 18):

Cheap Treats Holiday Edition: Visit 3 snack stations to learn how to make affordable and healthy holiday-themed snacks. Includes a cooking demo by UF/IFAS Manatee County Extension Service. Registration required. Saturday, December 16, 1 to 3 PM @ Downtown Central

Don’t Get Hacked Holiday Edition: Learn how to stay safe on social media and make smart choices when using sites like Craigslist, eBay and Facebook. Presented by Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Program will include free pizza and duct-tape wallet craft.  3 Locations/Times: Tuesday, December 19, 6 to 7:30 PM @ South Manatee; Wednesday, December 20, 6 to 7:30 PM @ Rocky Bluff; and Thursday, December 21, 6 to 7:30 PM @ Braden River

Feed the Pig: Learn how to save money and decorate a piggy bank. Presented by UF/IFAS Manatee County Extension Service. Includes free snacks. 3 Locations & Times: Thursday, January 4, 2 to 3:30 PM @ Island; Tuesday, January 9, 6 to 7:30 PM @ Palmetto; and Thursday, January 11, 6 to 7:30 PM @ Braden River

Teens Only:

Big Bank Theory: Thinking Money Edition: Teens are invited to experience the life of a 25 year old in this financial simulation presented by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Limited spots available. Registration required. Saturday, January 20, 1 to 2:30 PM @ Downtown Central


Escape the Debt Trap: Learn about alternatives to payday loans and how to understand your credit report. Presented by Manatee Community Federal Credit Union. Saturday, January 20, 1-2 PM @ Downtown Central

Library Services Manager, Ava Ehde, said she is happy to offer this educational opportunity.

“Personal finances are difficult to manage so we are pleased our staff have located and obtained this grant to teach teens and tweens the basics of finance. We hope the information they gain will give them a good start,” said Ehde.

The Thinking Money programs will offer food and giveaways. Kids can submit one entry form at each of the four youth programs for a chance to win passes to TreeUmph, Saturn 5 Family Entertainment Center, Sky Zone Trampoline Park or Escape Bradenton. Winners will be announced the week of January 22, 2018.

For more information about Thinking Money and to register for Cheap Treats or Big Bank Theory, please go to Groups interested in scheduling a visit to the exhibit or attending a program are encouraged to contact Chelsea Baker, Information Services Librarian, at or 941-748-5555, x6334.

Press wanting more information should contact Kelly Foster at 941-748-5555, x6307, or

Photo Credit: Ean Perkins, September 3, 2016

About the American Library Association: Founded in 1876, The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 60,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information. For more information, please visit

About FINRA: FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity. It regulates one critical part of the securities industry, brokerage firms doing business with the public in the United States. FINRA, overseen by the SEC, writes rules, examines for and enforces compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws, registers broker-dealer personnel and offers them education and training, and informs the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. For more information, visit


About the Manatee County Public Library System: The Florida Library Association’s 2016 Library of Year and 2013 “Library Innovation” winner, the Manatee County Public Library System supports the County’s growing community and visitors through a wide range of educational and technological resources and programs at six facilities in downtown Bradenton (Riverwalk), the east county region, the south county area, Holmes Beach, Palmetto and Ellenton. This past year, Manatee Libraries was visited by nearly 850,000 customers who made use of its resources over 3.9 million times (a record high). Downloads of their digital ebook/eaudio/movies have continued to double each year, while technical training and computer assistance were up 16%. The 47,000 customers who attended their wide variety of informational and educational programs and events reflect an increase of 130% since 2006. For more information, call Downtown Library at (941) 748-5555, ext. 6307. For more information on Manatee County Public Library System, visit follow them at FacebookTwitter and Instagram @manalibraries. For more information about Manatee County Government, call 941-748-4501 or visit, or Twitter @ManateeGov