Merrimack Valley Credit Union (MVCU) and Methuen High School (MHS) teamed up for the fourth year to present the Credit for Life Fair to more than 300 graduating seniors on Friday, Feb. 17.
“A solid financial foundation is so important for people, no matter how old or young,” said John J. Howard, president and CEO of MVCU. “As a community credit union, we seek out opportunities to provide financial education to community members. Working with Methuen High School on the Credit for Life Fair gives us the chance to talk to the students at a critical time in their lives: right before they’re about to start making significant financial decisions on their own.”
Credit for Life is a two-hour event held in the Klimas Field House. Prior to the fair, students selected a profession that best fits what they plan to do upon graduation. They visit 15 different booths to build budgets that fit within the monthly salary of their chosen career. Each booth represents financial decisions that they would encounter as adults, making choices that are both required, such as housing, transportation and education, and discretionary, such as vacation, gym memberships and eating out.
To reflect the reality of unexpected expenses, students have to spin “The Wheel of Misfortune.” The wheel includes nine items that could have a negative impact on a student’s budget or provide the windfall they need to keep their monthly budget in the positive.
The partnership between MVCU and MHS began with the inaugural fair in 2018. The event is staffed by more than 50 volunteers from local professional and community organizations, the Methuen School district, and MVCU. The volunteers have face-to-face conversations about the impact their personal decisions have on their budget and lend decades of practical experience to the students.
Top of page: Annette Yee, Vice President of Project Development & CRA Officer at MVCU, helps students decide what furniture they’ll need when they’re living on their own as part of the Methuen High School Credit for Life experiential budgeting event.