Financial education opportunities within Michigan 4-H

A variety of programming opportunities that focused on money management took place during the 2016-2017 year.

A 2012 national study by the Search Institute of 1,500 families with 10-to-15-year-olds found that:

  • One-third (31 percent) of families with young teens have faced a financial crisis in the past two years.
  • Only 18 percent of young teens believe they do a good job of managing their money.
  • About half (46 percent) of young teens say their parents rarely talk to them about the family’s money situation. 

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor notes in their “Emerging Perspective on Youth Savings” report from 2012 that “investing in bringing youth into the financial system at a young age should help create a generation of adults with stronger money management habits. As research in other areas of child development has shown, it is easier for children to build habits such as financial discipline when they are young.”

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan 4-H program are able to provide programs to meet these needs. With financial assistance from Chemical Bank, youth have been able to experience financial education in a variety of settings during the 2016-2017 program year, including:

  • Series of sessions or a short-term 4-H club focused on money management.
  • Marketing, budgeting and goal setting for youth and adults involved in the 4-H market animal project area with the Youth Business Guide to Success curriculum.
  • Programming at juvenile detention facilities.
  • Money management sessions at MSU’s 4-H Exploration Days such as Keys to My First Car, CSI (Cash Scene Investigation), and Real World Spending without Real World Risk.
  • Programming with foster-care youth.
  • Budgeting simulations that allowed youth to experience making choices as an adult with a limited budget.
  • Programming involving grandparents and their grandchildren at MSU’s Grandparents University where participants were able to discuss needs versus wants, spending/sharing/saving/investing, and making choices with an “allowance.”

If your community youth program or school is interested in expanding the financial education that is taking place, contact your local MSU Extension office.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparationmoney management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Employment.”


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