Frink students participate in personal finance event
Keri Reid helps a Frink Middle School student with her budget during the ‘Reality of Money’ event. Photo by Alita White / Neuse News
LA GRANGE — Teachers, volunteers and credit union employees teamed up Wednesday to put students at Frink Middle School in La Grange through a crash course in personal finance.
Seventh grade social studies teachers Chadwick Stokes and Cameron Sherrer said the “Reality of Money” activity created by the State Employees Credit Union served two purposes for their students.
“It fulfills the seventh grade standard for personal finance, but it also exposes the kids to something they will deal with all their lives. This subject never goes away,” Stokes said.
Credit union employee Jerrie Barwick said this is the third time she has helped a local school with this event. Barwick said she enjoys helping the kids learn to prioritize their needs versus their wants.
“Going through this process helps them understand why their families have to say no to some things they may want,” she said.
Each student received a profile with income, education, family, debt and credit information. The student then had to decide how much to spend on necessities like housing, transportation and food, as well as on luxuries such as entertainment and cell phones.
Volunteer Tenesha White said many of the kids were shocked by the cost of TV, cell phones and internet.
“These things are a necessity to them, but they are surprised to see how much they actually cost per month. They see we as parents aren’t making it up when we say we can’t afford things.” White said.
Christie Mozingo helped students make a decision on their housing options. She said many of the seventh graders came back to her station to make changes once they realized how many other expenses they had to include in their budgets.
“You hope they come to realize the importance of having good credit will have on their future,” Mozingo said.
Seventh-grader Sydney Clark said she had learned a lot about life through the activity.
“I learned that it’s easier to have no kids and be single,” she said.
Barwick said she hopes that all the middle and high schools in Lenoir County will be able to hold these events at least on an annual basis, so that students will learn important financial lessons before they graduate.
Neuse News intern Norma-Jean Miller contributed to this report.