PALS campers learn financial skills from PEFCU staff

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Good money management is an essential life skill. That’s why Purdue Employees Federal Credit Union (PEFCU) partnered with Purdue Athletes Life Success Program (PALS) to provide financial literacy content and activities during this year’s camp.

Campers Use Computers to Practice Life Skills

Campers Use Computers to Practice Life SkillsPEFCU Collections Manager Dana Smith helps a camper create her computer persona and practice the money management skills learned earlier in the week.(Photo by Nicole Thompson)

“Whether we like it or not, economics has become the foundation of our entire culture,” said Bill Harper, PALS director. “Kids typically are not exposed to the complications of handling money or differentiating between wants and needs. This is an opportunity to introduce kids to the reality of life in an informal setting.”

On the final day of the four-week camp, the children applied the money management knowledge they had gained over the previous two days to age-based life-skills activities. The younger campers each received a $100 “paycheck,” which they had to deposit into the “credit union”. Then they used a checkbook register to balance their “checking accounts” according to choices they made individually between low-priced, mid-priced and high-priced vehicles, food and pets as well as unexpected emergencies.

The older campers took this activity to the next level using a computer-based program. Based on their individual interests and chosen level of education, the computer generated a career and salary for each camper. Then they chose to purchase insurance, homes, vehicles, meals and so on at different price levels. They also had to “visit” their financial institution in order to pay off debts like mortgages, credit cards and student loans. During the game, each camper could see his/her monthly income as well as balances on savings and debts.

“This [computer] game is fun and I’d like to play it,” said Jill Freeland, PALS counselor. “The kids have already learned so much about savings and they’ve told me how they’re going to save at home. They’re very excited about all they can do with money.”

In addition to its partnership with PALS, PEFCU works with local schools and organizations to teach money management skills to area youth throughout the year. “By teaching and helping children develop healthy financial habits now, they will be better prepared for the future,” said Carolyn Barrett, PEFCU financial literacy coordinator.

For more information about ways PEFCU helps organizations or schools meet financial literacy goals, please contact Carolyn Barrett at 765.497.7409.

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