Bank Smart

German American is dedicated to helping individuals, families and businesses achieve greater prosperity and quality of life. We support the communities we serve and believe that when a community thrives, its people prosper.

Through German American's Bank Smart - Financial Education program, we can help strengthen communities by ensuring that individuals have the knowledge and resources they need to make smart financial decisions through every stage of life. By providing educational opportunities that provide a foundation for personal prosperity, together, we can create a framework for life-long learning and economic success.

In partnership with the FDIC, German American Bank offers the Money Smart Curriculum, a comprehensive set of modules that covers financial education topics for students of all ages. Financial Education topics are available for the following age groups:

PreK - 2nd Grade

For PreK - 2nd grade students, German American offers a fun activity workbook and education on the following topics:

  • Counting Coins - Describe the purpose and history of money, explain ways money can be used, and identify, sort, and count coins and bills.
  • Learn to Earn - Identify and explore different jobs, examine sources of income (such as selling lemonade), and explain that money is made by working.
  • Weighing Needs and Wants - Define and prioritize needs vs. wants.
  • Ready. Set. Goal. - Describe goal setting and how it relates to financial decisions.
  • Super Savers - Identify, saving and spending, recognize a bank as a safe place to save, and create a savings jar or piggy bank.
  • Borrowing Bills - Describe borrowing with real-life examples, and illustrate ways to borrow responsibly.

3rd - 5th Grade

For 3rd - 5th grade students, German American offers a fun activity workbook and education on the following topics:

  • Money Matters - Explain the difference between needs and wants, evaluate different choices when making a purchase, discuss implus buying, and explain opportunity cost.
  • Get Set for Goals - Identify and develop ways to set short-term and long-term goals for saving, and explain the importance of setting goals for saving and how things may affect decisions to spend or save money.
  • Make a Plan - Explain the term "budget," create a budget and apply skills to real-world scenarios, and understand the concept of "pay yourself first."
  • Save Your Money - Explain what banks do what what interest is, name benefits of saving money in a bank vs. at home, understand risks and why it's important to save for emergencies.
  • Which Way to Pay? - Explain the concept of cash, credit and debit cards, discuss the consequences of paying back credit past the due date, and discuss identity theft and types of personal information that should never be shared.
  • Get Invested - Explore the basic concepts of investing, including risk and return, analyze the savings outcome of several investment options, and explain the value of long-term financial planning.
  • It's Great to Donate! - Explain the meaning of charitable giving and its rewards, and create a plan to raise money for a charitable cause.
  • Career Choices - Identify and explore different career types, evaluate personal interests, and explain how money is earned and why it is taxed.

6th - 8th Grade

For 6th - 8th grade students, German American offers education on the following topics:

  • The Path to Success - Identify and assess the skills and experience needed for a variety of careers, and examine the impact of education and other opportunities like internships.
  • Bread and Butter - Understand and explain the purpose of federal income and state tax and how it affects personal income.
  • Designing Dreams - Identify and explain needs and wants, and understand the importance of creating financial goals.
  • Being a Savvy Shopper - Consider the role of needs and wants in decision making by evaluating the credibility and motivation of marketing and advertising, distinguish the best value of goods and services, and apply opportunity costs to purchases.
  • Go with the Flow - Explain the purpose and value of budgeting.
  • Super Savers - Understand and explain the importance of saving money.
  • How to Stash Your Cash - Evaluate and differentiate a variety of banking and savings options
  • Money Doesn't Grow on Trees - Understand investment growth, losses, rewards, and risk by developing and tracking a stock portfolio.
  • Give Credit Where Credit is Due - Understand how to build credit and practices that may hurt credit.
  • Protecting Yourself - Create a trifold informative brochure on identity theft and prevention methods.
  • Risky Business - Identify methods to protect oneself from unwanted financial risk.
  • Spend, Save or Give? - Create a balanced budget that takes into consideration spending, saving, and giving.

9th - 12th Grade

For 9th - 12th grade students, German American offers education on the following topics:

  • Working Hard for the Money - Identify career options and education or training required for different careers, name sources of income, and explain the relationship between income and taxes.
  • Designing Dreams - Determinet personal values, financial goals, create a financial plan and summarize the purpose of financial planning.
  • Can You Pay Your Bills? - Develop a plan for spending and saving and create a system for keeping financial records.
  • Boost Your Savings - Understand how savings affects financial well-being and how to compound interest.
  • Bank Your Bucks -Learn the key differences between checking and savings accounts and understand the benefits of using federally insured financial institutions.
  • Bread-and-Butter - Learn and identify elements of a paycheck, discuss how taxes, personal exemptions, and deductions impact net pay, and understand how to calculate gross and net income.
  • Capacity, Character, Collateral, Capital - Evaluate negative and positive types of credit and discuss how to maintain or increase credit score.
  • The Almighty Dollar? - Identify how credit cards differ from check cards and summarize credit card key terms, conditions, and consumer protection laws.
  • As Easy As Pi - Learn common financial ratios, and how they impact financial decision making and creditworthiness.
  • Convertible or Clunker? - Learn about purchasing an automobile and the differences between leasing and purchasing.
  • Risky Business - Identify methods to protect oneself from unwanted financial risk.
  • Hall of Knowledge - Identify the costs of college and discuss student loan management.
  • The Policy of Personal Choice - Understand the economy and how it impacts personal financial choices.
  • Increasing the Value of Your Money - Learn how investing helps meet financial goals and build wealth over time.
  • Road to Retirement - Identify differences in retirement planning strategies and understand social security benefits.
  • Crash Pad - Understand the responsibilities and expenses of renting versus owning and learn the mortgage approval process.
  • Pocket Giving - Evaluate charitable giving and tax deductions for giving.
  • Paving the Future - Identify the elements of an estate plan and how to title property.
  • Financial Sleuth - Learn how to find and use financial resources and the roles of a financial planner.
  • Protect Yourself - Understand identity theft and how to protect personal information.
  • Launching Your Dream - Starting a Business: Identify and consider risks and rewards of entrepreneurship.
  • Maintenance Mode - Maintaining a Business: explore tax planning, business management strategies and insurance choices for businesses.


For adults, German American offers education on the following topics:

  • Your Money Values and Influences - Evaluate internal values and goals, external influences, and their relationships to financial decisions
  • You Can Bank On It - Learn all about financial products, services, and providers.
  • Your Income and Expenses - Understand how to track income and expenses.
  • Your Spending and Saving Plan - Learn how to develop a spending and saving plan, and how to prioritize spending when money is short.
  • Your Savings - Understand how to save money for expenses, goals, and emergencies.
  • Credit Reports and Scores - Learn the purpose of credit cards and how to use a credit card responsibly.
  • Borrowing Basics Explain the options for borrowing money and the costs.
  • Managing Debt - Learn different kinds of debt and ways to manage it.
  • Using Credit Cards - Understand how credit cards work and how to manage them.
  • Building Your Financial Future - Learn ways to build assets, including buying a car and getting training and education.
  • Protecting Your Identity and Other Assets - Learn ways to recognize, respond to, and reduce the risks of identity theft, along with strategies for protecting other assets.
  • Making Housing Decisions - Understand different types of safe and affordable housing, including specific information on renting.
  • Buying a Home - Identify the home buying process, including mortgages.
  • Disasters - Financial Preparation and Recovery - Learn how to financially prepare for, and recover from, disasters.

Older Adults

For older adults, German American offers a financial education class on financial exploitation. This class is designed to provide information and tips to help prevent common frauds, scams, and other types of elder financial exploitation in your community.

Small Business Education

In partnership with the FDIC and Small Business Administration (SBA), German American offers free education classes for Small Businesses on the following topics:

  • Organization Types
  • Time Management
  • Financial Management
  • Risk Management
  • Record Keeping
  • Banking Services
  • Managing Cash Flow
  • Credit Reporting
  • Tax Planning
  • Insurance Options
  • Selling your business/succession planning


Our local team of financial professionals can teach students of all ages the importance of financial literacy. If you would like to receive literature and/or request a financial professional to teach your class or organization, please call German American's Marketing Department at 800-482-1314.