Credit unions have launched, Clued In, new personal finance resource aimed at second level students. Clued In explains personal finance and the role of credit unions in a concise, easy to follow, engaging format. The resource will help students, guided by their teacher, to explore their relationship with their finances, good and bad. It also looks at ways we can all make smarter, more informed decisions.
For young people especially, the ability to oversee their finances has never been more important: from learning how to budget to managing their borrowing; from understanding the forms and sources of credit to understanding how to have a positive relationship with money. Above all, if money skills are learned at an early stage, it is likely that they will stay with you for life. The health of a person’s relationship with money is not determined by how much a person earns. Rather, financial health is having a conscious and sensible attitude to money that is satisfying and doesn’t put an unnecessary burden on the individual. It’s is about being in control of your own financial destiny.
Clued In has been designed for delivery by teachers in a classroom setting. The teachers’ handbook accompanying the resource guides the teacher through the resource. It includes a range of exercises which will encourage students to apply the theory to real world situations and understand the financial choices available to them. The students are taken through the resource via a series of slides. There are also a number of hand outs for students which contain exercises related to the topic at hand. The resource is principally aimed at Transition Year Students, but it is also relevant for students of Business Studies, Home Economics, LCVP etc.
The resource is divided into five sections, each with its assigned learning objectives and activities. These sections are designed to be delivered either as standalone sessions of an overall Personal Finance Module. The section are as follows:
1. Money and Me
Money is often important to young people but it can create challenges and worries for them. This section helps students explore what money means to them. It will help students identify how important they perceive money to be, explore the different attitudes people have to money and reflect on the steps which can take to improve their relationship with money.
2. Spending and Budgeting
This section introduce the concept of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’, and discuss how these change as we move through different life stages. The section also develop students understanding of budgeting and make the financial implications of their personal choices. It also explores the factors which influence purchasing decisions. In relation to exercises, students are tasked with developing a budget for a number of teenagers. They are also given some real life budgetary scenarios and challenged to make ends meet when things don’t go as planned!
3. Credit and Debt
This section explores particular areas of personal finance. In relation to credit, it analyses the features of the various forms of credit available – personal loans, hire purchase, credit cards, mortgages, moneylenders etc. It explores the factors which lenders use to determine whether to issue credit and how damaging your credit rating can impact on a person’s ability to borrow. The section explores Good Debt (debt that is used for a productive purpose e.g. an education loan) and Bad Debt (unsustainable, high interest forms of credit). It examines credit cards in detail and highlights the advantages, disadvantages and dangers of not repaying credit card bills in full. Finally, it explores the causes of financial difficulty and the warning signs to be aware of. This section has a range of exercises through which students can explore the topics of credit and debt further.
4. The Role of Credit Unions
This section explores the role played by credit union in local communities. It highlights how credit unions differ from other financial institutions, with the not-for-profit, member service ethos at the heart of credit unions’ activities. It includes a number of exercises to examine students’ knowledge of credit unions and how they operate.
At the end of the resource, the students may choose to undertake a particularly project related to the above content. These projects are designed to reinforce key learning points of the module content.
Additional information on the resource is available at www.cluedin.ie.