Posted Date: 04/20/2018
Financial workshop eye opening for CHS freshmen
Adulthood can be overwhelming with decisions on how to afford a car, house, insurance and unexpected costs for child support, traffic tickets or medical bills.
That’s what Chanute High School freshmen learned Wednesday as they went through a financial literacy event sponsored by the school’s Communities in Schools coordinator.
Armed with paperwork that told the students what job they held, how much money they earn, whether they are single, married or have children the students crisscrossed the gymnasium talked with volunteers posing as realtors, bankers, child care providers, financial planners, as well as those selling cars, medical and auto insurance, internet, cell phones and groceries.
Keondre Gregory was surprised at how much money he’d had to spend.
“At one point I didn’t have any money left over,” he said.
He went back through his purchases, made some adjustments in what he spent on cable and internet, and was able to keep his costs within his budget.
“It was child care” that put him over his limit, he said. “That cost me the most.”
Though Gregory only had one child, he had to pay $532 a month for childcare while he was at work.
CIS Site Coordinator Sarah Stockebrand called the Future Now: Finance workshop an eye opening experience.
“One girl wasn’t in here five minutes before she said, ‘I am not growing up. This is terrible.’”
Several freshmen mentioned how expensive it is for child care. That seemed to shock them, she added. It’s something they’ve never thought about, and they’re finding that “having a family changes your life.”
Another shock at the child care table came after students rolled the dice. If they rolled a six, it meant they were receiving child support, and they had to deduct $600 from their income.
“Child support is not income you can rely on,” said one of the volunteers working at the child care table.
“Sometimes you will get it and sometimes you don’t” which is why it’s subtracted from the income column.
Molly Luellen asked Stockebrand to check her budget after she found her friend was out of money and her friend was making a lot more money than she was. It turned out that Molly’s choices had kept her within her budget. Instead of a nice car, which she said she’d like to have, Luellen had opted for the Moped.
“I just like planning ahead,” and “definitely want to make sure I have plenty of money and save ahead of time,” she said.
Several students told Stockebrand, “I’m going home to thank my parents and tell them I love them.”
“I am going to appreciate my parents a lot more. I’m going to try and stay young as long as I can,” Gregory said, because being an adult is “a lot harder to do.
He and Luellen said they learned from experience and everyone should do it.
“I learned that I’m going to be able to manage my money better,” Gregory added.
At least 35 volunteers from the Chanute community worked with the students, many of them bringing their professional expertise as bankers, counselors and teachers to create a realistic event.
This Future Now: Finance “is to help you understand some of the realities,” Stockebrand told the students, and it’s “a good reminder to keep your future in mind as you’re making decisions in high school.”
Story by: Connie Woodard