Community Service

Students Experience Real-World Personal Finance

CUNA’s Community CU and Growth Conference includes a financial literacy simulation for local high-school students.

November 06, 2011
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During a Mad City Money simulation at CUNA's Community Credit Union and Growth Conference, high-school students from Lincoln High School, San Francisco, took on the roles of adults. They received jobs; monthly incomes; families; and expenses, such as credit card debt, student loan debt, or medical insurance payments—all while building their personal budgets.

Credit union attendees posed as merchants, and worked to sell the students everything from cars to expensive vacations. Did the student-members make the right decisions within their budgets, leaving enough money to deposit with the credit union for savings or retirement accounts? As part of the experience, conference attendees also served as credit union advisers to the students.

Your credit union is the best source to help you create a plan and start to save, Courtney Derby told the students when the simulation concluded. Derby is manager of membership development at San Francisco Federal Credit Union. For future spending, "think about your wants and needs," she advised. "Begin to budget your money now and don't wait until you graduate."

 

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CU staff in Mad City consult with their members on ways to budget for savings and retirement accounts.

 

 

This "police officer" knows just what he wants: "I want a cell phone and a computer." And merchant Sandy Jelinski, president/CEO, Lake Michigan CU, Grand Rapids, authorizes his purchase.

 

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Merchant Larry Lanning, director, Numerica CU, Seattle, advises this CU member-shopper that she should always buy the high-end home furnishings because they'll last longer. She wasn't fooled, telling him, "But I have credit card debt." She opted for less-expensive purchases.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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