Funding the Future - A Rockin’ Good Time

Contributed by: Clare Lilek Clare Lilek

On April 18th, The Center proudly sponsored the band Gooding, through the non-profit Funding for the Future, to play at Hazel Park High School. The event was a little over an hour and involved fun rock music, excited high schoolers, and important lessons in financial literacy.

Funding for the Future is a nonprofit that coordinates bringing the band Gooding to different high schools, student groups, and kid oriented organizations to not only provide a free concert, but also give a crucial and entertaining lesson in financial literacy. All too often, some of our children reach adulthood without ever hearing about the impact of weekly savings, the perils of credit cards and credit scores. “Put your money away and let it work for you,” was a common sentiment that was said throughout the event, encouraging students to save money each week in an account like a Roth IRA, in order to let that money grow over time—a practice we heartily support at The Center!

The band Gooding is passionate about financial literacy and sharing that message with music. Their songs aren’t about stocks and bonds, however; they play exciting and down to earth rock music which endears them to the kids, allowing their message after the songs are over to sink in with more credibility. The band is inspired to bring financial literacy to students all over the country because of their own lack of education when it came to handling money as they grew up. We see examples of celebrities and pro-athletes that go broke shortly after making it big. The band explained that mindset comes from growing up and thinking one check, one lottery ticket, one record deal is going to change it all; but he encourages the kids to realize that change is within them and doesn’t come from the outside.

Gooding also talked about the perils of opening up too many credit cards, of not knowing your credit score and what affects it. He stresses, though, that money isn’t bad, it’s our lack of knowledge around money that can mess us up financially. That’s why he encourages good financial behavior, like putting $50 a week in a Roth IRA once you start working. You start young and have that money grow for you exponentially over time. He showed the students real examples and charts in order to encourage the students to take the idea of retirement savings seriously. He also talked about creating SMART goals; having Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time oriented goals in order to plan and budget successfully. It was a lesson mixed with long term planning and tangible strategies the students could implement right away.

After thirty minutes of fun rock music and a thirty minute crash course in basic financial literacy, the students left smiling and so did we! It’s a part of The Center’s mission to spread financial literacy to the community around us, and sponsoring Funding for the Future and the band Gooding was just one way in which we do so. We look forward to many future partnerships in order to spread the word!

Clare Lilek is a Challenge Detroit Fellow / Client Service Associate at Center for Financial Planning, Inc.®

Any opinions are those of Clare Lilek and not necessarily those of Raymond James.