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Screen_Shot_2016-05-18_at_8.21.39_PMThere is no doubt that the rapidly changing economic climate, coupled with the increasing complexity of financial decisions, makes personal money management more challenging than ever before. Fortunately in Corozal the St Francis Xavier Credit Union in conjunction with the Corozal ITVET are carrying out a literacy campaign known as the Mad City Money project which targets students.

The projects sees students participating in a 2 hour simulation exercise. The have a job, a salary, experience what it’s like paying bills, buying a house, and even a vehicle. At the end the aim is for each participant to understand how to budget their money wisely.

Elvis Canul Head Office Manager

“This is like a minimum two hours course, we come (1) to bring education in a fun way this brings a real life example to the students, to the youths and we give them some situations for example; we would tell them today you will become a pilot and this is your salary and you have to make decisions in how you spent your money the way you have to purchase your home, you will have your children and you will have to pay your rent, you will have to pay electricity, water, you have to pay insurance, if you have students loan commitment or your mortgage commitment so at the end of the day it will give you a real face of what the real life of what out there is, so the main objective is that they will understand how to make their expenses based on what they are earning and they have to come up with a budget at the end of the day but in a simulation fun way of learning this literacy program that we offer, this is what the Credit Union is bringing to the youths empowerment through financial literacy.”

Manager for ITVET Corozal, Enrique Pech, believes in the program as it will ensure that students make proper financial decisions and reduce debts burdens as they venture on their own.

Enrique Pech Manager for ITVET Corozal

“I think it is very appropriate that the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union which a very well know thriving institution right now should partner with ITVET which is a fletching institution because right now we find that in our society people are not quite aware on how to manage money wisely and so if we can start instilling the importance of a proper financial management in our young people at a very early age hopefully they will be able to make sound financial decisions in the future and will not probably be burden with debt the older they get so this is a very good start for them to understand the concept of money of how economics works, the value and the importance of savings and for them to be able to really grasp the concept of responsible spending and the fruits of saving so we are very happy that this partnership has happened today.”

And while the project is yet to bear fruits, students agree that they now have on hand the proper tools that will help them make better financial decisions in the future.

Students of ITVET.

“What I learnt about this project is how to budgeting your money and how you can see what all you are spending your money.  Some of the problems I encounter here is that about accounting, I don’t really know about accounting and that is one of the problems I had here in this project.  My advice to young people is not to spend all your money but to spend your money on what you need and the rest just save it for an emergency or something you would want to buy, always save.  I learn how to budget my money but as a trainee I don’t really take into consideration to budget my money because I don’t work but I believe that in the future this activity will help me.  I think you should take into consideration what you really need and not what you want but as a trainee it was really hard for me to make choices because I would prefer what I want and not what I need and also to make savings in other words you should choose what you need and not what you want.”

The St Francis Xavier Credit Union Mad City Money Project is funded by the United States Embassy and it is a part of an outreach program to teach financial education through financial literacy. The Mad City Money program also caters for Secondary Education Institutions. Any institution who wishes to have the project introduced at their school, can contact the S.F.X.C.U for more information.

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