MCUCD text
August 2012Vol 3, Issue 8
mcucd collage
We can make a difference
Message From MCUCD


Earlier this month I was flying back to Montana from my vacation and ended up sitting next to a very friendly financial planner. We struck up a conversation about our jobs and the importance of money in our lives and he told me about some of his clients.


He works with folks all over the country who have made their money in high-paying professions or through savvy investing. He told me about their money woes, their questions and these sophisticated models he uses to keep his clients' money safe. One wanted to buy a second home. The client told the financial planner the cost of the home, and the planner plugged in the numbers. Based on the planner's models, if the client were to buy the home, he would go bankrupt. Needless to say, the client didn't buy the home.


Throughout our discussion all I could think was, "gosh, many folks could really benefit from what this guy is doing!" But, then I realized, so many of our partners are doing this daily. These are the financial educators and the financial counselors in our communities who are helping program participants and members learn how to make their money work for them and not the other way around. Kudos to you financial educators out there--you are truly making a difference for the folks who really need it!


VITA Program Manager 
In This Issue
Making a Difference
Welcome Jami Materials
CU VITA Webinar
August Consumer Topic
Quick Links  


Join our Mailing List!


Find us on Facebook

Making a Difference


In school, we learn the traditional subjects of math, science, English and history -- all important subjects. But, what about financial education? Given the unstable economic tims we live in, the need to learn how to manage their money has never been greater. Sadly, studies by the Jumpstart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy show that many young people have little understanding of finance and economics. They are spending and borrowing without knowing that interest builds up, or that credit cards aren't free money.


No matter what field or industry you work in, you have to deal with your own finances; it's a basic life skill. Every day, consumers of all ages conduct some type of financial transaction that requires an educated decision, yet many lack the basic financial skills to make healthy choices. That's where your credit union comes in.


Credit unions have long been committed to financial education--it is part of our basic philosophy of people helping people--and, now more than ever, it is critical for us to continue that commitment.


Montana's credit unions shine in their financial education efforts. Across the state, credit union employees visit local classrooms to discuss such financial matters as saving for a new car, the importance of having a spending plan, and understanding the true cost of credit. During the 2011-12 school year, Montana credit union staff reported making presentations in 111 classrooms and reaching 2,496 students.


Credit unions recognize that youth are not the only ones who face challenges with financial choices. Credit union education efforts also help adults learn to make healthy financial choices by offering financial education classes that are open to the community. These courses reach out to the underserved, low-income, aging, and working folk who simply have difficulty managing their finances. Not only do these financial education opportunities provide credit union members and consumers with the tools to make better choices for their financial future, they also give credit unions an opportunity to share the credit union difference.

Here at MCUCD, we know there are many more credit unions conducting presentations in schools across the state. Please report your presentations to the National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) so we can get a better idea of the work credit unions are doing and the impact they are having in communities across Montana.
MCUCD Welcomes Jami Kirksey


We are thrilled to announce that Jami Kirksey has joined the MCUCD team as our new Program Support Coordinator. Jami spent the past year serving Montana's credit unions as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Member with MCUCD. In her new role, Jami will provide support to the Matched Education Savings Account (MESA) programs, Consumer Resource Centers (CRC), the VITA program, and much more. Jami will bring a ton of energy and passion to her new position. Please give her a warm welcome whenever you talk with her on the phone or visit our Helena office. 

Order Materials


Although it's hard to believe, it's already time to start thinking about getting the word out about free tax preparation. MCUCD is accepting orders for lobby posters, statement inserts, and website banners to recruit volunteers for VITA sites and to help members get free help with their taxes. If you have a free tax site in your region, please order these materials to distribute to your participants or members. You can help us recruit more volunteers and reach more taxpayers who can benefit from services.


There is no cost to your organization. Credit unions should use the CU Order Form. All others use the Partner Order Form. Orders are due by August 31. For questions, please contact Rachael. 

VITA Webinar - Credit Union Site Coordinators


MCUCD will be hosting a webinar for credit union site coordinators Thursday, August 23 at 1:00 pm. The webinar will cover an overview of last season, a preview of the upcoming tax season, and volunteer recruitment.


Changes are in store, so it is important that credit union VITA site coordinators attend.

Register Today!

Consumer Topic of the Month
Paying for College

CRC Graphic 

With tuition and student debt on the rise, many students are looking for smarter ways to finance their education. This month's topic, "Paying for College," addresses financial aid basics, scholarship scams, and the benefits of staying in-state--one of which is being able to participate in our MESA programs. College is an investment in your future and should be exciting--that's why we have provided the financial tips and resources to help.
Visit our Consumer Resource page to access resources for the current "Topic of the Month," including a newsletter article, poster, resource guide, and a featured resource. You can also find links to the same documents from past months' topics. Use them to educate your members, clients, and community on consumer topics that will help them to make financially smart and safe decisions.