“As a community credit union, we strongly believe in helping everyone – no matter how old or young – acquire a solid foundation of personal finance and budgeting skills to help them manage their finances,” said John J. Howard, President and CEO, Merrimack Valley Credit Union. “Teaming up with Methuen High School to host the experiential ‘Credit for Life’ Fair is just one of the ways we’re helping community members prepare for their future. We look forward to working with these students as they get ready for graduation and the excitement that waits beyond.”
Over the course of the two-hour event, students selected a career and created budgets with the corresponding salary to guide their decision-making process. The students then visited 16 booths that represent financial decisions they would encounter as adults, making choices that are both required (housing, insurance, education) and discretionary (vacation, gym membership). While navigating the booths, students also spun the “Wheel of Misfortune” to receive unanticipated expenses, which could positively or negatively impact their budgets.
Once students visited all 16 booths and made their financial decisions, whether they stayed within that budget or not, they met with credit counselors individually to discuss financial choices and results. Knowing financial decisions and security can impact all aspects of an individual’s life, counselors reviewed each student’s budget and provided feedback on making more informed financial decisions.
The partnership between MVCU and MHS began with the inaugural fair in 2018, and followed with a second event in 2019. The annual event was put on hold during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. The in-person event in 2022 allowed for more than 50 local professional and community members to have face-to-face conversations about the impact that personal decisions can have on a budget.
About Merrimack Valley Credit Union
Merrimack Valley Credit Union (MVCU) is a state-chartered community credit union with $1.27 billion in assets. MVCU serves anyone who lives, works, volunteers, or attends school in 11 counties across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. MVCU offers a wide range of savings and loan products to meet the financial needs of its members, and has 10 branch locations in Bridgewater, Fairhaven, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Plymouth, and Quincy, Mass., and Plaistow and Seabrook, N.H.