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Elk Grove Citizen

SAFE Hosts Interactive Financial Literacy Workshop at Sacramento State

Nov 02, 2023 10:44AM ● By SAFE Credit Union News Release

SAFE Credit Union Community Relations team at CSUS Budget Cents event. Photo by SAFE Credit Union

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA (MPG) - With fewer than 1.5 percent of California students receiving any guaranteed financial education in schools, SAFE Credit Union is stepping in to fill the gap with a new program that lets teens and young people learn first-hand the sort of financial decisions they’ll make as adults.

SAFE recently brought its new Budget Cents program to California State University, Sacramento students. The college’s Associated Students Incorporation (ASI) partnered to host the event.

“The lack of financial education can lead to young adults making mistakes that can impact them for years,” says SAFE Credit Union Vice President of Community Relations and Financial Education Rebecca Delmundo. “Helping young people learn positive spending and budgeting practices can position them for a better future, especially when it comes time for those major life milestones like buying a house, new car, or starting a family.”

“It’s just those sort of insights that Sac State students could benefit from,” said Sasha Margulies, marketing coordinator with ASI. “I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for students to come learn how to manage their finances, what they should be doing to prepare for the real world while in college and set themselves up for success after they graduate.”    

Budget Cents is targeted to teens and young adults learning to become financially independent. The simulation provides real-life scenarios giving students a better idea of financial decisions they’ll make when living on their own. Students are given a persona that includes a job, income, family size, and debt level. They then visit various stations that represent major expenses, including housing, vehicles, childcare, and entertainment.

SAFE representatives help students with their budget and provide feedback to the students at the end of the simulation. The goal is to see whether students successfully budgeted their money while ensuring they are not overdrawn and have money left for savings.

“What surprises students the most during the simulations without a doubt is how much things cost,” SAFE Credit Union Financial Wellness Manager Hector Madueno said. “When we built this program, we looked at data for the Greater Sacramento area. So, when they are running through it, they’re going to see actual housing costs, the actual costs of food or dining out.”

SAFE established this program to foster financial literacy and education in the Greater Sacramento region. “We believe that providing individuals with the knowledge and skills to make informed financial decisions is essential for achieving financial security and prosperity,” Madueno said.

SAFE Credit Union Certified Financial Educator Miriam Dougherty gives student advice on monthly budgeting during the Budget Cents simulation at CSUS. Photo by SAFE Credit Union

The event attracted participants from diverse backgrounds with the university’s ASI program. ASI offers services such as a food pantry, childcare services, a safe ride program and no-cost education events such as Budget Cents. Many attendees expressed their appreciation for the insights they gained during the event.

“The information to pay extra on the amount due to your credit card was very helpful,” said Sacramento State student Lorena Rodriguez. “I did not know that before.”

Budget Cents programs are free to schools and other participants. Those interested in booking a Budget Cents workshop can email [email protected] for more information.

For more information about the Budget Cents event or for video from the event, contact [email protected]