Financial Wellness II
The below content is meant to be informational and not used as financial advice.
From personal experience, I can tell you that financial wellness is a lifelong journey with bumps and turns along the way. To get started on the right path, we must learn how to avoid and overcome them. And it’s never too soon to start.
Last summer, our marketing team (the two of us) spent some time with elementary school students attending the Western Foothills Kids Association’s summer program. We met with a different class each week and talked about needs and wants, taught them what coins were worth and helped them count change to put into new OFCU piggy banks.
Financial Fitness Fair
High schools in Oxford County have scheduled Financial Fitness Fairs with OFCU for over a decade. We wrangle up staff and volunteers to help coach students through a ‘real life’ budget. They are given a salary and options to choose from for transportation, housing, a food plan and more.
Their spending plan includes a credit score that affects their expenses. They play a game to determine what kind of curveball life is going to throw them that month – will they have to buy new tires or visit the ER? It’s a worthwhile exercise for them. Many don’t think about all the ‘stuff’ that comes with adulthood and how much it will cost.
Reaching more students
We also support the JMG programs in our local schools. We have created customized presentations and materials for students on a variety of topics. For example, ‘Adulting Doesn’t Have to be Hard’ provides tips for getting started financially and ‘True Story/Fake News’ lets them determine if a statement or advice about personal finances is true or false.
OFCU is often invited to high school career fairs, too. We talk to the students about the importance of establishing a relationship with a bank or credit union before they enter the workforce - because no matter what career they choose, they need to be prepared to manage their money.
Whenever we interact with students at any age, the information we provide is relevant and important for them to learn. But I think the most valuable thing we provide them is the opportunity to talk to us.
They have SO many questions – from how to open an account to building credit and getting loans. We want them to know that we are a resource even if OFCU isn’t where they choose to bank.
Our goal is to help provide the tools, knowledge and confidence to help them achieve financial wellness in the future. We can’t assume that children will get the necessary financial education from their school curriculum or their parents. When they look to us for guidance, we are happy to give it.
Explore our free financial education resources.