National Financial Awareness Day and the Credit Union's Impact
Wednesday, August 14, was National Financial Awareness Day; what better way to celebrate than by recognizing why financial awareness is important?
Chances are, you’ll have many financial decisions to make throughout life. Each of these decisions, no matter how big or how small, will have an impact on your future and financial health. Although money is something that most people will deal with for the majority of their lives, it is also an incredibly daunting subject if you aren’t familiar with it and don’t know where to start.
From budgeting, to credit, to identity theft, and more, the Credit Union strives to educate individuals during each stage of life on the importance of smart money management. Below are some of the events that the Credit Union participates in to help spread financial awareness to individuals ages five to ninety-five.
The Credit Union facilitates student-run credit unions in the Brandon School District on a reoccurring basis throughout the school year. These programs allow students in third and fourth grade classes at Harvey-Swanson Elementary and Oakwood Elementary the chance to operate their own student-run credit union and assume the roles of branch manager, teller, and more, with assistance from Credit Union employees. During the times that the student-run credit union operates, students and employees at the school, who are also members of the Credit Union, are able to deposit money in their checking or savings account. This program allows the students that operate the student-run credit union to build many skills, including money recognition and counting, teamwork, and communication. It also encourages all students in the school to practice smart savings habits.
Three years in a row, the Credit Union has hosted high school students in the Lansing School District for a Financial Reality Fair. In 2019, the Credit Union had the opportunity to expand it’s reach to offer the Financial Reality Fair in the Charlotte School District, as well. The Reality Fair offers participating students the opportunity to learn about financial responsibility, while providing them a sneak peek into the “real world” of budgeting and financing. Students that participate in the Reality Fair are assigned a job, corresponding salary, and credit score upon entry. From there, they are required to visit a variety of booths, such as housing, transportation, furniture, and more. At each booth they make choices about how they will live based on their budget and lifestyle preferences. After visiting each booth, they meet with someone from the Credit Union to recap their decisions and discuss how they could have altered their choices to better fit their budget.
Financial 4.0 is a series of presentations that takes place on campus at both Michigan State University and Oakland University. The presentations cover topics like budgeting, investing, credit, and identity theft and offer students a chance to learn about these important topics during one of the most pivotal points of their lives. In addition to the presentations, Financial 4.0 is a free smart phone app that offers users access to their own personalized budget tracker, financial quizzes, published articles, weekly tips, and more. Find the free app by searching Financial 4.0 for MSU or Financial 4.0 for OU on your smart phone’s app store.
The Credit Union works with many community groups such as, Lighthouse of Oakland County, Habitat for Humanity, Peckham, and more, to educate adults on financial responsibility. The Credit Union educates adults on topics like budgeting, credit, and identity theft, but also dives deeper into each of these topics by talking about credit repair, banking basics, pros and cons of renting and owning your home, how to teach your children about money, and more.
Additionally, the Credit Union hosts and sponsors many presentations for adults, on topics like, estate planning, starting a business, income tax prep, buying a home, long term care planning, and more. If you’re interested in attending a seminar, visit https://www.msufcu.org/events/.
Wallet Watch, brought to your by MSUFCU and OU Credit Union, is the Credit Union’s new podcast which is available for free in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podbean, or wherever else you get your podcasts. The hosts cover topics that impact financial wellness, like, time management, getting your first job, and scams to avoid, to name a few. The podcast offers a unique new way to reach individuals from high school to adulthood and expose them to financial topics that impact their lives.