Area credit union gives students a course in real life

Reported by Lauren Lowrey email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

In these tough economic times, Northwest Ohio Credit Union is working to teach students about making good money decisions -- even before they're faced with them.

Banks, budgets, and babies -- how much do they mean for your bottom line? That's what more than 700 high-schoolers had to figure out Tuesday, as they crunched numbers and balanced budgets on their make-believe lives.

Students were given a checkbook with their career, salary and debt printed on the inside. And from there, they just tried to keep money in the bank as they got hit with expense after expense.

It kind of sounds like real life, right?

"A lot of them will say, 'I can't believe how expensive groceries are. I can't believe how much you have to pay for car insurance. I can't believe that credit score makes a different in what I'm gonna pay for car insurance.' A lot of little things that I just don't think are on their radar or they'd think about on a daily basis they're learning today," said Melanie Ogrodowski with NW Ohio Credit Union.

Students agreed that they learned a lot.

It's not just about learning how to write a check. It's also about learning how to budget those unexpected expenses.

In the end, the students were just happy it wasn't real-life -- yet!

"I gotta go to college to get a good career so that I can make a lot of money and actually have money left over to live with," said student Harold McQueen.