Michigan 4-H educates close to 1,000 people in 2015 on financial literacy topics

Money management education helps youth save for their future.

Events such as Grandparents University feature money management sessions.

Events such as Grandparents University feature money management sessions.

Knowing how to handle money is an important life skill youth should develop for their future. Michigan 4-H seeks to meet that need through money management education. In 2015, 976 people representing 71 Michigan counties and out of state locations were engaged in 86 workshops addressing youth financial literacy. Some of these participants were adults who then worked with youth directly expanding outreach efforts. These adults were often trained to utilize the National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Program. In total, through the work of staff and adult volunteers, 719 youth participants gained crucial financial education through Michigan 4-H in 2015.

Michigan 4-H financial education sessions sought to achieve the following outcomes for youth:

  • Youth participants will have a basic understanding of financial management.
  • Youth participants plan to apply the financial skills learned to their everyday lives.

This important work was done with a variety of audiences including foster care youth, youth from family court, military family youth, juvenile transition centers and youth from community-based organizations as well as through 4-H clubs and school programs. Because the range of financial education topics can be broad, education took place in different methods and ways to meet youth needs. For instance, youth participated in saving and budgeting simulations at a camp or learned about balancing accounts during an in-school program.

4-H members also learned financial literacy skills as part of their officer role of treasurer and as part of livestock or market animal education programs. Community financial resource fairs, Money Smart Week-themed program week and events such as Grandparents University or 4-H Exploration Days featured money management sessions. In addition, many youth experienced financial literacy components as part of a career education or workforce preparation series of education.

Evaluation results demonstrated an impact from this education. Of those participants surveyed:

  • Fifty-five percent (n=216) indicated an increase in knowledge of their understanding of how to track the money they earn and the money they spend (how to create a budget).
  • Sixty-four percent (n=117) of youth participants planned to pay their bills on time as a result of participating in the 4-H money management program.

Youth recognized the benefit to learning this content and their testimonial quotes shared what they will do as a result of the knowledge gained:

  • “I will pay more attention to my expenses and create a budget for myself so that I can save money.”
  •  “This will help me in the next six months to ‘save more money and plan out purchases.’”
  • “I learned how important it is to apply for scholarships and save now for college.”

To learn more about the ways Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development is helping young people develop employability and money management skills, read “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.” For ideas on how to help young people successfully prepare for their future, contact your local MSU Extension office or check out the Michigan 4-H Money Management Resource website.

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