How much do your Air Jordan’s cost?

Financial literacy can be a challenge. Thankfully, Highfields’ residential students had the opportunity to learn about the importance of finances through to a grant from the Community Foundation’s Youth Action Committee and lessons provided by MSU Federal Credit Union.

Building a strong financial background begins with the basics, saving, spending and sharing. Youth are often told about spending, but never get the chance to understand in simpler terms. The boys were able to recognize these concepts through deciphering wants vs. needs. They had a great time with suggesting wants whether it was a Bugatti, a mansion or a pair of Air Jordan shoes, gathering quickly that needs aren’t as extravagant.

“This class helps me learn how to organize my money so I can figure out what I can buy and what I have to save for,” said Edward.

Four classes were held over the span of two weeks in the wellness room on campus, giving students the chance to expand on their knowledge.

Students were encouraged to set SMART goals, in other words, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timeline. These ideas provided them with the tools to set healthy spending habits. Students found out quickly that there was more to the acronym that meets the eye. Saving money is based on the concept of deciding how much money you need, when you need it by and is it a realistic timeframe.

“I learned don’t set yourself up for failure,” said Gage.

MSU Financial Credit Union’s staff provided activities for students to practice their newfound knowledge. By playing “The Price is Right” MSU style, students discovered their favorite items, such as phones, laptops and game consoles, cost more than they expected. Even through an exercise on budgeting, they were taught the values of priorities and organizing their money. Through the cultivation of finances, students began to understand the same strategies can be applied to other areas of life including physical and mental health.

Highfields is grateful for the Community Foundation’s Youth Action Committee for funding our Life Skills Project which gives students the opportunity to learn basic skills such as financial literacy, cooking, auto maintenance, first aid, and resume writing. We are also grateful for MSU Federal Credit Union for teaching the financial literacy classes to our students.

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