Accounting student, Hays Jones, reflects on his experience volunteering at the Tiger$ense Financial Literacy Fair.
Tiger$ense Reflection: Beans, Buckets, and Bouncy Balls
On Friday, April 1st, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Tiger$ense Financial Literacy Fair at Drake Middle School, located right here in Auburn. Through my experience at Drake, I was reminded of several things that will stick with me as I progress in my studies and career.
First, middle schoolers are way more intelligent than we initially give them credit for. After hearing a 6th grade girl describe to me what liability auto insurance is and hearing another discuss her future career in quantum physics, I was blown away by my new middle school “friends’” intelligence and desire to learn.
The games that we played with the students educated them on financial topics but were also a great reminder for me of some helpful practices/mindsets. In one game, students were instructed to toss frisbees into one of four buckets that were scattered in front of them with different dollar amounts. The further away the bucket, the more money they “save”; the person who saved the most money won. Another game I facilitated was the “bean game.” In this activity, students were instructed to use 20 beans (representing a monthly income) and spend them on several different life choices. Students had to choose their living arrangements and how they would pay for their laundry (all varying costs depending on the luxury factor). Watching the students deliberate intensely about thrifting clothes versus buying designer duds was funny, but also a reminder of the value of a dollar. Our personal financial stability boils down to how we spend our “beans!”
Lastly, I was reminded that we should take advantage of the free resources available to us. At the Tiger$ense event, students were given a goodie bag that had information about finances as well as a few pieces of candy, a pen, and a bouncy ball. Students were completely unashamed to take advantage of the things given to them (even if it meant bouncing their bouncy ball around the cafeteria), and I find that bold and oddly inspiring.
I am grateful for my participation in Tiger$ense and the reminders it provided. After spending the day with an entertaining group of middle schoolers, I’ll never forget to take advantage of every free piece of candy and bouncy ball (and also to spend my “beans” wisely).