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Money Matters Blog

Monday, September 10, 2012

Millennial Money Challenges

The Millennial Generation, generally defined as those born between the 1980s and 2000s, has seen its share of money challenges, but what many people don’t realize is that better financial planning can mitigate those challenges.

With today’s twenty-somethings holding an average debt of about $45,000, according to an April article in USA Today, coupled with a high unemployment rate among their age group, the need for better money management, both now and in the future, has become especially pronounced.

The same USA Today article added that fewer than half of all states require that their high school students take an economics classic, while just 13 require a personal finance class according to a 2011 survey by the Council for Economic Education.

According to the article, students who did take such courses were more likely to practice safe and responsible financial habits such as paying their bills in a timely manner and avoiding compulsive purchases.

Learning financial responsibility early goes a long way, which is why Community Financial Credit Union has supported its student-run credit union program for over 30 years.

That program allows students to run and participate in their very own financial institution.  Through active savings and checking accounts student in K-12 learn proper money management skills, goal setting and the importance of saving. Community Financial staff oversees the student credit unions in 35 Plymouth-Canton, Northville, Novi and Northern Michigan schools.

Students from the elementary level up through high school benefit from the programs, which teach a bevy of important skills to kids of various ages.

“We are excited to fill our vision of teaching students the importance of saving in elementary school, providing a way to grow those savings in middle school and then offering access to their savings and checking accounts in high school,” said Community Financial President and CEO Bill Lawton.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in the USA Today article that the lack of financial skills has had a “devastating cost” in to the country’s economy, highlighting the importance of more education. The Community Financial student-run credit union program could be just what the doctor ordered.

For more information on the program, click here.

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