Teens Learn Real World Financial Skills from Dollars & Sense Summer Camp at Western Michigan University

Dollars and Sense Summer Camp 2023 Client

Manage Money and Make Friends at WMU’s Dollars & Sense Camp

If there’s one thing foremost on a teenager’s mind, it’s money.

Though parents may hear their children asking for money, it is often one of the most overlooked and yet crucial skills needed as an adult.

As parents, we want our children to have the proper skill set to manage money and become financially independent.

But how do you teach a teenager about the stock market, savings and investments?

Answer: they attend a summer camp like no other.

In just one week at WMU’s Dollars & Sense Camp, teens in eighth through twelfth grade learn how the economy works, how the stock market functions, investing, budgeting, and other financial concepts.

Dollars and Sense Camp 2023 FB

Why Finance Camp?

The truth is, many parents never learned about money or investing when we were younger and wished we had.

WMU’s Dollars & Sense Camp lays the foundation for sound financial habits including understanding financial vocabulary, goal setting, budgeting, investing, saving for college, and more.

Taught by WMU faculty members and personal finance professionals, classes include two real-world projects to apply their new skills.

All classes are located in WMU’s Greenleaf Trust Trading Room, housed within the Haworth College of Business.

The trading room gives a glimpse into a Wall Street environment right in Kalamazoo, equipped with the software and tools that finance professionals use every day.

What Will Teens Learn at Dollars & Sense?

This camp, hosted by the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, teaches more than 10 different financial topics that impact the world in general and themselves as individuals:

• Discover career pathways
• Plan for college or a skilled trade
• Build a financial plan to fund post-secondary education
• Practice budgeting, saving, and investing
• Learn about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies
• Explore insurance and risk management
• Gain knowledge about real estate
• Compete in virtual investing, budget, and other personal finance games
• Meet business professionals and interact with real-world work environments, learning from experts
• Create a Life Cycle Plan to help chart out their future

Dollars and Sense Summer Camp Student 2023 Client

Students start the camp with an interest in money management and finance, and we see that grow throughout the week as they get hands-on practice with different financial concepts and see the impact that financial planning makes long-term in people’s lives.

Students walk away from the camp more confident and asking the right questions about the stock market and their personal finances, which helps them to be better financial decision makers in the future.  It was encouraging to hear almost all the campers say that they will work as many hours as possible while in college and get by with used cars in order to minimize their student debt!

– Jim P. DeMello, Chairman, Department of Finance and Commercial Law

Real Life Financial Projects + Campus Tour = An Unforgettable Week

Dollars & Sense is a summer camp option with substance. Sessions are discussion-based, interactive and FUN.

Camp attendees will work on two special projects:

• (1) Stocks: Select stocks based on data and research and chart the progress of those stocks in real-time throughout the week.

• (2) Life Cycle Financial Plan: Design a life cycle financial plan, laying out where you want to be in terms of your personal finances and life goals and how you are going to get there—from today through retirement.

PLUS, attendees will gain a fun glimpse into campus life at Western Michigan.

Dollars & Sense also includes an extensive campus tour through a variety of different colleges and departments.

Register for Dollars & Sense Summer Camp

Register online for camp this summer! Camp takes place in early August, from August 5 – 9, 2024.

Camp runs daily from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Campers will be immersed in the world of finance and learn how to harness its power to help them succeed not only in business but in life as they develop tools to create and maintain a personal budget and save for the future.

Note: 2024 camp does not include a day trip to Chicago

Dollars & Sense Camp

featured partner
Sanford Center for Financial Planning and Wellness
Western Michigan University

1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 387-5125

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