WAXHAW – More than 100 business students at Marvin Ridge High School experienced real-life money management scenarios with the help of the State Employees Credit Union’s Ardrey Kell branch.
SECU developed the program, “Reality of Money,” to provide an understanding how daily expenses, as well as choice of occupation and lifestyle, affect economic prosperity.
Lisa Hall, marketing teacher at Marvin Ridge, stumbled upon the program when helping her teenage son deposit a check he had earned from his summer job.
“One of the bank employees told me that she was impressed my son knew how to complete a deposit slip, because many students his age lacked money management skills,” Hall said. ”When I left the bank that day, I couldn’t wait to put this curriculum to use with my students in the upcoming school year.”
Branch Manager Beth Monroe and Allene Bullock, financial services representative, spent a day working with students.
“The goal of our program is to educate students on the financial costs of daily living, and to illustrate how their choice of education and occupation, as well as the size of their family, can have a great impact on the level of lifestyle they are able to afford,” Monroe said.
Monroe and Bullock explained monthly expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utilities, car payments, health insurance and FICA. They gave students scenarios and asked them to calculate whether they would be able to survive based on monthly expenses.
Some of the outcomes surprised students.
“My case scenario was for a single dad with two children who didn’t finish college,” junior Nick Gagis said. “I did have a job, but the job didn’t begin to cover the costs of putting two children in daycare and finding a decent place to live. I had no idea that children were so expensive.”
Other students found they could cover expenses and save money with jobs they wouldn’t have thought could be financially successful.
“As a student who is about to graduate and to make some major decisions about the direction of my life, this was an extremely beneficial presentation,” senior Peyton Johnson said. “I also learned about the importance of budgeting and managing my money, a skill that I’ll definitely need when I leave home in a few months.”
Monroe hoped students learned the value of post high-school education and how personal choices on career, marriage, children and the type of house or car purchased can influence financial happiness.