Thanks to a generous donation from MedicTests I have spent my last 3 Mondays with the boys at Ycap. Ycap is a mentorship program through the YMCA. According to their website Y-CAP is: “an early intervention and prevention program for youth ages 10-15 who have been referred to us either through the juvenile court system or the school system. Each student and their family has a personalized treatment plan which addresses their educational, behavioral, and spiritual needs, including mentoring, tutoring, hot meals, family nights and group therapy.”

Foundation building game which solidified the concepts of building on human capital and skills for a job so we can in turn make money to cover our wants and needs

Money Lit was asked to come and do a four week financial literacy session as a life skill to ages 8-12 in the Fall and then come back in the Spring and do one with the older age group. I had no idea what to expect but I quickly realized we were going to have fun learning together. This group is high energy which I somehow did not expect going into the first Monday, but I was ready for their energy the next week!

Being an after-school program they have been learning all day and did homework and they are not prepared to sit and listen to anyone talk at them any further by the time I arrive. Luckily for them Money Lit is hands on and we engaged in discussions together and several activities to learn the concepts.

Short-term versus long-term savings goals

Over the past three weeks we’ve talked about why we need money, what wants are versus needs, why we need a job and what skills we need (job related and soft skills). Once we established that we need to make an income, we discussed what we should do with our income to not only survive but also thrive in life. They chose a career card and made some budgeting decisions based on their net income.

This week they took what money they had left after their basic needs were met in the budget and we discussed how to make some of the remaining money work for us. We talked about investing and stocks. They each chose how much of their money they wanted to invest and then chose stocks based on that.

After a week off for Fall break (even though it feels NOTHING like Fall here in Chattanooga right now), we will meet for the last time and they will get to see if they “made money” or “lost money”. The person who made the wisest investment will win a prize. I have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and I can’t believe we only have one more session left! Check back in after Fall break to see who made the best investments and how the “money club” (as they like to call it) ends.

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