Maplewood students get jump start on finance with ‘Dollars and Sense’

<div class="Content"><p class="indent">Representatives from Southwest Louisiana Credit Union visited second-grade students at Maplewood Elementary School Wednesday, teaching age-appropriate principles of finance as part of International Credit Union Week.</p><p class="indent">COO Chad Miller read “The Berenstein Bears: Dollars and Sense” and gave each student a copy of the book as a reminder of the principles taught.</p><p class="indent">It’s never too early to begin discussing positive personal finance habits with children, Miller said.</p><p class="indent">“We’ve seen in our industry that the younger you start teaching kids to think about their money decisions, then when they become adults they’ll have those moneysaving habits and maybe they won’t have to borrow as much.”</p><p class="indent">Melissa Crumpler, secondgrade teacher, said for young children “being aware of what money even is for is such a good thing.”</p><p class="indent">She said she believes the teaching will help as the students prepare for their moneycounting unit in the spring.</p><p class="indent">Miller said taking the principles into young adulthood is the ultimate purpose of the credit union’s visit as the industry finds young consumers struggle to make prudent financial decisions.</p><p class="indent">“Young consumers now, especially in our area, you’re having 19- and 20-year-olds coming into large sums of money and we mainly see them overextending — buying a car as soon as they can and it’s not a $10,000 dollar car, it’s a $50,000-$60,000 car, then a boat and then an RV. Instead of saving money and buying something when you can, it’s like I want all of this now.”</p><p class="indent">By teaching students the importance of managing money from an early age, Miller said credit unions hope to prevent future pitfalls and help them prepare for financial success.</p></div>

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