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Local students 'cash in' on learning


Eau Claire, WI (WEAU) - Paying the bills! Its one chore that make adults wish they were a kid again. But, if you have kids, teaching them about finances is important for their future.

According to this year's Teens and Personal finance survey, teens between the ages of 18 and 24 who feel they're able to financially support themselves has fallen from 75% in 2011 to 59% in 2013.

"Does anyone in here, know their social security number by heart?” said asked Paul Pedersen, 7th & 8th grade, Social Studies teacher Regis Catholic Schools.

Saving and spending money, a task that can be fun until you're bankrupt.

"The importance of self-reliability and preparing for your future is extremely important,” said Pedersen.

"We need to be able to educate our future youth who are going to be working in our community so they can be financially successful,” said Susan Effinger, Director of Junior Achievement.

Paul Pedersen says it’s through the efforts of junior achievement that his 8th graders will learn how to balance finances.

"Junior Achievement is an opportunity to teach economics, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship to youth K-12 education,” said Effinger.

Susan says its inside the classroom that students have the opportunity to learn about finances, but it's the real life scenarios that that they have more of a chance to learn about paying taxes, setting budgets for things like college, and you can't forget about setting financial goals.

After 6 weeks of classroom lessons, all the 8th graders at Regis will travel to JA Finance Park in Milwaukee.

"They'll get a scenario and they'll go to 19 different businesses and pay their mortgage, buy a car, buy a house and the goal is to then at the end of the experience, to see if there on budget,” said Effinger.

"Without a doubt the most amazing thing is the importance of saving money early on, starting with your first paychecks, 15 , 16 17 18 years old is not soon enough when you take a look at saving for your own retirement,” said Pedersen.

Pedersen says words like social security and pension will have a different meaning in the future.

"What's interesting is we now know that our children will not retire the same way that maybe their parents and grandparents are going to retire. What we want to do is prepare students to make sure they are ready for life being different, when they get to hose older ages,” said Pedersen.

"Everything is so expensive and they need to become financially successful and have that responsibility,” said Effinger.


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