Area students are learning about the importance of making smart financial decisions during April, which is National Financial Literacy Month.
Representatives from Town and Country Credit Union, which has a branch in West Fargo, visit local schools to explain the complicated world of finances. The credit union uses Banzai financial literacy software to get students to better understand their financial choices.
Mary Anderson, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Sheyenne High School, said the lessons are important, even when students are years away from having jobs and financial responsibilities.
“Teens have a very familiar relationship with spending, but not as much with saving,” Anderson said. “I really think that sometimes they forget that all that their parents have now isn’t something they had in their 20s.
“It is something that they have worked hard to earn and accomplish,” she said. “My hope is that by learning about it now, it will help them to develop good money habits for the future.”
Town and Country employees visit classrooms in the Fargo-West Fargo area to help teachers with financial literacy lessons, said Marketing Coordinator Tera Heiser. The credit union also has several programs to help students, including its one-day $MRTZ seminar for high school juniors and seniors sponsored annually at the Fargodome.
Since 2009, more than 2,000 students have attended the Town and Country seminar. Since January, Town and Country representatives have visited 29 classes at 10 schools in the Fargo-West Fargo area.
“We feel it’s important because it’s a building block for their future,” Heiser said.
Students at Sheyenne and West Fargo high schools have used Banzai software this year.
“It walks them through a very easy practice scenario, and then has them work more independently on a game that has them determining where saving fits in,” Anderson said.
She said a lot of students have jars or envelopes where they put their money instead of putting it in 401Ks, savings accounts or stock portfolios, but after using the program, they became aware of other options.