Founder, Dr. Melody Bell, was inspired to fill an education gap that existed in local Oregon schools by launching Financial Beginnings in 2005. Despite a growing need in educating young people about personal finance, few schools at the time offered financial literacy curricula.
In her experience working within several facets of the financial industry, she repeatedly encountered individuals who had failed to properly protect themselves financially, leaving little money for savings and personal security, and delaying life goals such as higher education, retirement, and home ownership.
Dr. Bell was determined to create an organization that provides unbiased personal financial education to young people, based on the belief that sound financial decisions are a result of early education.
Since its inception, Financial Beginnings has expanded to serve both youth and adults, adding programming that educates and empowers elementary school, middle school, and high school students, postsecondary students, low-to-moderate income earners, vulnerable adults, and Spanish-speaking learners. In 2020, Financial Beginnings started offering online programming in addition to in-person instruction through webinars and an interactive Learning Management System (LMS)
Once a local Portland, Oregon nonprofit, Financial Beginnings now provides programming in several states and continues to expand into new parts of the country each year.