Invaluable: credit lesson at HOPE Christian threads through the worth of financial decisions

FacebookLinkedInTwitterCredit was the topic of a recent Money Sense lesson for seniors at HOPE Christian H.S. But the theme of “value” permeated conversations between students, volunteers and an educator.

Volunteers Margo Elborough (MGIC) and Anne Potkay (US Bank) led respective, back-to-back Money Sense sessions in February for more than 30 total students in Chase Prochnow’s government and civics classes.

With the value of previous lessons in mind, Elborough began with a recap for her class of students at the Harambee neighborhood school.

“Compounding interest,” said Xzavyer, quickly answering the first question.

“Hover over links before clicking on them,” answered Amya, on a question about phishing scams.

Those students and others earned snacks from Elborough for their correct answers. Then, in her first full lesson, Elborough delved into critical thinking activities with students on credit.

With the slogan “No short cuts. No excuses.” hanging above the chalkboard at the front of the room, Elborough heard guesstimates from most of the class during one section on minimum payments and interest. As students gasped over the long-range cost of furniture or the payments on a computer after its already outdated, Elborough pushed them to consider how interest factors into total cost.

“There’s value and benefits to not just paying the minimum balance,” she said.

Prochnow chimed in with an example of a friend who wanted to attend all of the weddings he was invited to during one summer. The friend knew it would be expensive but realized these weddings were once-in-a-lifetime events. So, the friend put those trips, gifts and expenses on his credit card to start, with a plan over a course of a few paychecks to pay it all off in full. That way, the friend was involved in the valuable time with loved ones and didn’t break the bank to do it.

“Think about what’s worth paying off over time,” Prochnow summarized, before bringing the anecdote back around to an earlier point on value. “An extra pair of shoes may not be worth it, but seeing a family member might.”

For more information on Money Sense and how it might fit for your students, contact:
Rashidah Butler-Jackson, Money Sense Program Manager
(414) 273-8101

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