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CoVantage hosts ‘Mad City Money’ at West Iron

IRON RIVER – CoVantage Credit Union recently partnered with instructors and other local businesses to host a reality fair for the junior class at West Iron County High School.

Called Mad City Money, the reality fair gives students an opportunity to learn about managing personal finances and making good choices when it comes to saving and spending money.

During the reality fair, each student was given their “reality,” which is a future life scenario including a career, starting salary, family status, and financial obligations that come after high school including bills, loans and credit card debt.

Students stop by tables staffed by local business members where they get advice on finding affordable rent, transportation, insurance, and household expenses including groceries, cell phones, clothing and entertainment.

The student’s goal is to stay within budget; and still have money left in their pockets after paying all their bills for the month.

An important feature of a financially responsible lifestyle is savings. In the financial reality fair experience, students are encouraged to save, with a target of saving 10 percent of their income. The fair tempts students to spend their income on “fun,” but their credit union sponsors work with them to bring the focus back to saving and to the wise use of credit.

In total, 57 students participated in the reality fair; and 11 local businesses contributed to the successful event. Kira Dallavalle, member specialist of CoVantage Credit Union has been a key player in planning and coordinating the Mad City Money Reality Fair.

Special thanks to West Iron County High School instructor Mike Dallavalle and High School Principal Mike Berutti for assisting CoVantage in coordinate the event; and to community volunteers: Punner Franzene and Barbara Benson- Stafford with U.P Riverland, Marla Shamion with State Farm Insurance, Kathy Miatech from Dr. Felger’s, Sue Clish and Laura Ness from the Iron County Courthouse, Amanda House from Ella-Grace Photography, Mike Dacheff from Lindwall Motors, Nathan Clark from West End Home Furnishings, and Le Anne Kachmarsky and Sally Osentoski from Michigan Works.

Hosting the Reality Fair is one of several ways CoVantage Credit Union is actively involved in working with others to help students be well-prepared from a financial literacy perspective. CoVantage staff operates a Kids Credit Union Branch in the sixth grade economics class at West Iron High School.

A primary purpose of operating the Kids Credit Union branch is to teach students the difference between wants and needs, the value of saving and budgeting, and how to use credit wisely.