For the 2017-18 school year, the ēCO Credit Union Foundation partnered with the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce for a program called Keeping It Real. We were excited to be one of the sponsors this year for such a worthy cause!
Keeping It Real simulates a real-life scenario for ninth graders in Shelby County, Alabama; these scenarios give the students careers, education, money, and a family. Then, they are responsible for visiting twelve booths to either earn money or pay for something. Below, you’ll find pictures of both the Transportation and Financial booths.
Some of my favorite comments from students include:
“Do I have to buy insurance?”
“Why are kids so expensive?”
“I need to go home and thank my parents!”
“Do I have to save money?”
Hearing their epiphanies make me envious that I did not have financial education in high school; my first car insurance bill may have hurt a little less if I had known the costs real-life throws at you!
Being involved in this program leads me to this question: What are you doing to prepare the next generation with financial education? So many kids I have talked to with Keeping It Real have zero knowledge of the costs of life. And, I believe if adults were more transparent about their finances, the next generation would be more equipped with the tools to make better financial decisions than we have! For instance, when we are at the grocery store with our kids, what if we showed our kids the difference between generic and name brands? What if we showed our nieces and nephews how much our car insurance is and explain why we must purchase it? Maybe, we can share why it is important to pay ourselves first (or save) when our paycheck comes into our account.
I am challenging you to be more intentional with the middle and high school-aged students in your life in sharing the reality of how expensive life can be and why it’s important to learn now! And, if you are a teacher or want to refer some material to a teacher, we provide free, no-strings financial education curriculum through the ēCO Credit Union Foundation. Simply, click here to find out more and order for your classroom.
We are excited to equip legacies to come with information to make to better financial decisions!