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Michigan Credit Union League

Marshall Middle School Students Learn About Finances in the Real World

MMS Financial Reality FairOn May 24, Marshall Community Credit Union held its first middle school Financial Reality Fair as part of the credit union’s financial education initiative.

During the program, called Money Masters, more than 20 students participated in this hands-on budgeting experience to learn more about personal financial management in a one day “real world” environment. In preparation for Money Masters, the classroom student teacher, Skylar Campbell, taught some basic money management skills including what a budget is, needs vs. wants and the importance of saving.

“It was a great opportunity for our 6th graders to see just how much stuff costs, and how it isn’t always so easy to stay within budget,” said classroom teacher Sarah Rebenstorf.

At the start of the program, students choose their family composition at random — including factors such as marital status, number of children and number of pets — and then spun a wheel to determine their career and monthly salary.  

MMS Financial Reality Fair 2The day of the event, students were provided with an in-depth budgeting sheet. This “real world” exercise had each student budget his or her money wisely to make ends meet for one month. Students were required to find a place to live, obtain transportation and pay for food and other essentials as they visited eight booths to obtains goods and service needed in everyday life. After visiting all of the booths, students balanced their budgets and reviewed their worksheets with a financial counselor.

“The Money Masters program is a perfect example of how credit unions work in their communities to teach financial literacy to students,” said the credit union’s financial education coordinator, Andrea Tucker. “The students had the opportunity to work through real budget scenarios and make some tough decisions. I was impressed with how financially savvy some of them were. We look forward to doing another fair at MMS in the future.”

Money Masters is an all-in-one kit made available from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation.

For more information about the Money Masters program, contact Andrea Tucker at 269-781-9885 or by email at

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2018-06-14 00:00:00