The $402 million First Financial Credit Union in Albuquerque, N.M. taught financial literacy to around 200 local high schoolers at a money-spending simulation event called Crazy Cash City thanks to a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation, the NCUF announced.
Crazy Cash City took place Oct. 9-11 at the Rio West Mall in Gallup, N.M. and was co-hosted by First Nations Development Institute, a Longmont, Colo.-based economic development organization supporting Native Americans.
The event was open to teens enrolled in a financial literacy class this semester and also served as a pilot program for First Financial CU and First Nations, which may host similar events for schools in the future, NCUF said.
NCUF said First Financial CU and First Nations tweaked CUNA’s Mad City Money program, a money-spending simulation kit geared toward high school students, to make it more appropriate for the mostly Native American population that attended the event.
For example, profile cards at Crazy Cash City reflected tribal employment information, and participants’ potential income sources included tribal forms of revenue such as tribal dividend payments.
“At the National Credit Union Foundation, we’ve found experiential learning activities such as First Financial CU’s simulation to be a resounding success,” said Christopher Morris, director of communications for NCUF. “First Financial’s pilot simulation is also a great example of making financial education engaging and relevant to your community.”
Each event participant received a folder containing economic information about a fictitious family, including income, children’ ages, benefits and outstanding debt. The teens then visited various booths to make decisions about how they’d spend their money on necessities such as housing, transportation and child care, with the goal of having a fully balanced budget at the end of the exercise.ue