Since 2003, April has been recognized as Financial Literacy Month, when residents of all ages nationwide are encouraged to establish and maintain healthy financial habits.
The state of Delaware has taken on the challenge to provide financial education to its residents by offering an easy way for them to determine available income. State Treasurer Colleen C. Davis released an interactive Available Income Calculator, built in Tableau Public, that any Delaware resident can easily access and use to determine fixed expenses, average monthly expenses, and the income available after necessities are paid for.
The Office of the State Treasurer decided to use Tableau Public as the platform for the Available Income Calculator because it provides a free, easy way for Delawareans to see that financial literacy and stability are possible and that the office can help. Tableau also allows the tool to have many iterations, and the office expects to release additional versions in the future as they continue to receive feedback from users. The state also uses Tableau to help see and understand data related to the business of the Delaware government.
“As treasurer, I always say that income impacts outcome. With this tool, we can easily determine the income dollars we can put towards a desired outcome-whether it is saving for a future down payment, investing in a retirement fund, or something else entirely,” says Colleen C. Davis, state treasurer, Delaware.
The Available Income Calculator began to impact residents within hours. Soon after making the tool public, Treasurer Davis attended a culinary school graduation for formerly incarcerated individuals, many of whom would soon be earning their very first paycheck. Without access to traditional financial institutions, they didn’t know where to start in budgeting and were unsure of how much they should be spending and if they would have the opportunity to save. With the Available Income Calculator, those barriers to financial success began to dissolve.
“Delaware’s Available Income Calculator is a great example of a government organization taking a proactive approach to data transparency,” said Steven Spano, regional vice president, public sector, at Tableau Software. “Innovative uses of technology like this are empowering citizens to interact with government offices in brand new ways, and can serve as a model for other communities throughout the country.”