Financial literacy isn’t usually part of the average high school curriculum, but credit unions around the country step in every April for National Financial Literacy Month to try and explain real life money issues to teens who are about to go out into the real world.

According to the Michigan Education Association, in 2014 the cost that parents spend out-of-pocket for school supplies and extracurricular activities is $1,223 for high school students and for teens such as Betsy Zakby of Monterey, the cost of being a cheerleader tacks on another $1,500. “I guess my parents are okay paying it,” she said. “I have no idea what their money issues are. I’m kind of afraid when I graduate that I’ll have to figure things out like how to pay my own way. It’s scary because my parents keep everything about money hidden from me.”Last month, Ideal Credit Union in Woodbury, MN with $587.6 million in assets held their program, “What’s in it for You” to entice young members to save more money. Members were given a free t-shirt and sunglasses when they opened a youth savings account, and were entered to win $100 when they opened a new account or made a deposit into an already existing account during the month of April.In San Francisco and Southern California area students attended the 2015 Bite of Reality financial workshop, a simulated reality game that empowers them to learn critical money management skills in a fun and interactive way. RMJ Foundation sponsors the workshop each year at no cost to teens.

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