Kids in Birmingham learn financial literacy in hopes of ending the cycle of poverty

"Your Money, Your Life" financial literacy program
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:41 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A program from the Jefferson County, 4-H, is giving Birmingham students a chance to experience what living in the real world is really like.

The “Your Money, Your Life” program is a financial simulation for kids aged nine to 18, and participants got a chance to see what “adulting” is all about.

Getting a job.

Paying bills.

Staying on budget.

It’s not always easy being an adult.

But on July 20, dozens of kids from all over Birmingham got a chance to try.

“We are doing a program called Your Money, Your Life. It teaches kids life choices. For instance, they get to choose a career, they get to choose a car, they get to choose a house. And the career that they choose determines how much money they get,” said 4-H Foundation Regional Extension Agent, Izette McNealy.

The simulation teaches kids how to manage their money.

Organizers said financial literacy is especially important right now, and the sooner kids master it, the better.

“This is so very important because people need to learn how to live within their means. A lot of us are trying to live like the Joneses, and it just don’t work,” McNealy explained.

“This program just gave me so many opportunities and opened my eyes to be able to figure out what I wanted to do with my future.”

Kenneth Reese participated in the Your Money, Your Life program throughout high school.

He’s now a junior at Auburn, and said the program played a huge role in his decision to major in Agri-science.

“It just kind of gave me the idea of maybe what I want to do once I get to college, what I want to major in, how I maybe want to invest in a car, a house and whatnot in the future. So, it just really gave me that good foundation,” Reese explained.

The program also challenges kids to answer tough questions about their interests, their strengths, and their level commitment to reach their goals.

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