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Three Wichitans Become Debt Destroyers Through Money Possible Campaign

Tuesday, June 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Susan Dyer
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“Say no to frivolous spending.”
“Live within your means.”
“Don’t overwhelm yourself with credit.”

These are just a few of the financial lessons learned through the Money Possible: Destroy Debt consumer financial literacy campaign created by the Kansas Credit Union Association.

The Money Possible: Destroy Debt campaign followed three Kansas credit union members, Raquel, Fredica and Lisa and Bryan, as they worked with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service to destroy their household debt, and learn smart money management skills.

Each participant had a different financial issue. Lisa and Bryan wanted to have money left to save for retirement. Fredica needed to control her spending. Raquel’s payday loans were spiraling out of control.

But the outcome for the three was the same: a lighter debt load, and more importantly, less stress in their lives.

Here are the results of the campaign:

Lisa and Bryan
-paid off four of their credit cards
-learned the difference between needs and wants
-involved their children and developed a family budget

Fredica
-stopped using credit cards
-paying down her existing credit card debt
-learned to live within her means, and work with what money she does have

Raquel
-paid down 30 percent of her debt
-current on all her bills and has stopped using payday loans
-started an emergency fund

“The campaign promotes the idea that household budgets and finances are up to the families, and it’s a life-long process, not just something they can do once and be done,” said Melissa Baptista, Research and Development Director at the Kansas Credit Union Association. “Many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck and don’t have enough saved for emergencies or for retirement. This campaign aims to turn that around and teach basic money management skills to keep families out of financial trouble.”

Participants learned important financial literacy skills like the difference between needs and wants, budgeting, finding small ways to save, and the real cost of payday loans. These participants represented real people and the situations they face in their daily lives. They agreed to share their stories in hopes of inspiring others to become financial fit.

The credit union members’ stories were told through weekly television segments on KAKE-TV (ABC), on the moneypossible.org blog, and through social media.

This program highlighted the need for consumer financial education, as well as the value of credit unions as strong financial partners. A recent survey shows Americans are still struggling with saving, and as of August 2013, Americans are $11 trillion in debt. The campaign aimed to give consumers tips and explain that there are resources available to those who need extra help.

About the Money Possible Campaign
Financial education is a primary focus of Kansas credit unions, and credit unions nationwide. The idea of using a public venue to share members’ stories and promote financial literacy comes from the Kansas Credit Union Association’s Innovation & Implementation Lab.

This was a pilot program for the Wichita area.

Resources on MoneyPossible.org
-All television segments and participant updates.
-15 second Money Possible Money Tips.
-A downloadable workbook.
-Resources and information about credit unions.
-Financial literacy statistics, advice and tips about saving, budgeting, credit cards, payday loans, and more.