5 Key Findings About Girls + Financial Literacy

In Girl Scouting, girls hone their financial literacy skills through practice and engagement—they build and manage their own cookie business every year and earn financial badges like the Financing My Future Badge or the Money Manager Badge.

Girl Scout Research Institute Study

Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) recently conducted a survey of 1,000 girls ages 8–17 to better understand girls’ level of financial literacy and their confidence, attitudes, and experiences with regard to money. The study created from the survey, Having it All: Girls & Financial Literacy, reveals that most girls expect to be independent and financially empowered, see few gender barriers in their way, and have high expectations for their future financial lives.



1. Girls are optimistic about their future. Most girls see no barrier to what they can accomplish financially, and they envision a future family structure where they are fully engaged in financial decision making and planning. Nearly all girls say it is likely that they will have jobs or careers they enjoy (98 percent), and that they will be able to provide for their families (96 percent) and own homes (95 percent) one day. Girls see little difference between genders when it comes to financial capability, with only 13 percent saying that men are better with money than women. 

2. Adults, especially mothers, play an important role in girls’ financial education. Over 80 percent of the girls surveyed by GSRI reported having learned about finances primarily from their mothers, with their fathers, teachers, and guidance counselors falling next in line. Financially confident parents are more likely to teach their daughters about money management and financial literacy. 

3. Only half of girls feel confident making financial decisions, with only 1 in 10 considering themselves very confident. Girls reported the most knowledge around common financial behaviors like saving money and being a savvy shopper, but know less about how credit works and how to invest for their financial futures.

4. Girls know they need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams. Nine in ten girls say it is important for them to learn how to manage money, and 88 percent say that it is important to set financial goals. Girls also know there’s more to learn; nearly 4 in 10 girls ages 11–17 say they don’t know how to use a credit card, only 38 percent know what a credit score is, and just 37 percent know how credit card interest and fees work.

5. Financial knowledge grows as girls get older. Girls 14–17 years old are more likely to feel knowledgeable than girls 11−13 years old regarding financial matters.

How You Can Help Your Girl Scout

Help her practice financial skills by saving up to buy a gift or comparing prices online and in the newspaper. Talk with her about her Cookie Program goals. Include your girl in conversations about household budgets or savings.