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A Big Mac Financial Education

By Dian Vujovich

I don’t know many parents who feel comfortable teaching their kids the ins and outs of money management. Their biggest gripe, whether they are multi-millionaires or not, seems to be a lack of confidence within themselves with regard to this subject.
But not to worry, Golden Arches help is here.

The Illinois-based company that brought us the best fries on the planet, Big Mac’s, Ronald MacDonald, Hamburger University, sundaes, latte’s and oh-so much more is now providing their employees with financial literacy lessons.

No, that probably doesn’t mean 18-year old’s will learn how to count change without the help of a computer, but they will learn how to balance a checkbook, keep track of their spending and oh, how to use a credit card.

Visa, you see, is the company behind the deal.

I’m not a fan of credit cards anymore. Used to love love love’em, until they started to financially abuse their consumers. Yes, we all need at least one to put things like the cost of airline tickets on and pay for car rentals–even hospital stays in foreign countries. Store cards with 0 percent interest rate offers can even make sense when purchasing big-ticket items, provided you follow the rules.

But having a dozen different credit cards isn’t cool anymore, or prudent or in your best interest. After all, why would someone work with any card company that arbitrarily decides if a cardholder has too much debt to reduce their credit line no matter how perfect the cardholder’s record of on-time payments is? Or, raises an interest rate promised and agreed upon then, then if the customer questions it, agrees to lower the interest to the terms first understood but adds that doing so means the card can no longer be used? Companies that do business like that aren’t companies worth working with.

I’m ranting, here. Better have a MacChill-Out of some sort.

Visa got the red-haired Ronald’s company to believe that learning about money management is good for all MacFolks—which it definitely is—and now is helping to financially educate their 500,000 employees via videos, financial journaling and online info.

My MacHopes are that Visa will also educate employees to the terrific benefits of debit cards and encourage them to move from a debt frame of mind into a cash one. That brain change, however, will take time, planning and savings–all three, BTW, are good financial education lessons.

And, that parents who know little about money management will encourage their kids to get a job at a McDonald’s and to take advantage of the program.

Since we all know that Ronald is no spring chicken, I’m also hoping the company keeps an open mind to their hiring of older employees. Many of us need help in the financial department, too.

(Source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-tc-biz-literacy-0713-0714-jul14,0,3328580.story )

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