CU 4 Reality program gives students a lesson in real-life finance

Hosted by Service Credit Union, the CU 4 Reality educational program offered to the Patch Middle School 7th grade class was held May 13 at the Patch Community Club, Patch Barracks. Photo by Isabella Weibel.

The Patch Middle School 7th grade class put their financial smarts to the test at the CU4 Reality educational program hosted by Service Credit Union, May 13 at the Patch Community Club, Patch Barracks. Photo by Isabella Weibel.

By Holly DeCarlo-White
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office

The CU 4 Reality Education Program, hosted by Service Credit Union, gave middle school students within the Stuttgart community a chance to learn about managing real-world finances, May 13 at the Patch Community Club on Patch Barracks.

The CU 4 Reality curriculum creates a fun and interactive learning environment where students can practice specific financial management skills and learn early on the consequences of debt when it comes to financial matters.

The program uses an in-class curriculum during the school year, culminating with the CU 4 Reality Fair, to teach participants important skills to equip them to handle money responsibly, set and adhere to budgets and avoid the pitfalls of debt.

The students created a spending plan based on a salary, balance needs versus wants, and make sure they are living within their means.

At the fair, each student received a file detailing the student’s personal information specific to their career choice. It included their monthly gross income, and students calculated their take-home pay and created a monthly spending plan as they progressed through booths representing various categories of expenses they can expect to incur. Students made decisions about what they would spend on various items such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, insurance, home furnishings, savings, investments, entertainment and credit.

To complete their course of studies, the seventh grade students spoke with representatives assigned to each of these life areas to help them understand the importance of their choices on many expenses they will face in adulthood.

View the event photo album click here.