MBV 2019 St. Thomas Day 4: Financial Freedom

The day began with an informational presentation about money and values by Nathan Dungan, founder of Share Save Spend. Dungan informed students about the importance of making a personal financial plan and the difference between needs and wants. He also encouraged students to only spend what they need to and that choices we make with our money can change the world. He suggested that students invest their money into their short- or long-term goals. Lastly, Dungan gave students advice about analyzing their money habits, monitoring their spending choices, and realizing that money mistakes are part of the learning process.

Then, students were divided, once again, into small groups to attend Breakout Sessions. Since the theme of the day was Financial Freedom, the Breakout Sessions were meant to teach students how to save, invest, and afford a lifestyle they want for themselves. The sessions offered were Banking led by John Abston from Wells Fargo, Credit led by Chase Brakke from North Star Resource Group, Identity Theft led by Stacy Conaway from Famous Dave’s, Renting an Apartment led by Sara Croymans from the University of Minnesota, Paying for College led by Debbie Huddleston from Xcel Energy, and Car Insurance Matters led by Heather Kinney from Allstate.

Later, students were separated for another round of Breakout Sessions, which were about philanthropy and paying for your lifestyle. Philanthropy was presented by Jackie Berry from 3M, Peng Olson from Federated Insurance, and Elisa Rasmussen from Xcel Energy. The students were challenged to think of how they could incorporate the idea of philanthropy into their business presentation. For example, a company could decide to donate 5% of their proceeds to a nonprofit organization. Paying for My Lifestyle was presented by James Bryan from Cahill Financial Advisors, Ann Erickson from Stearns Bank, Debbie Huddleston from Xcel Energy, and Yusra Mohamed from Wells Fargo. In this session, students were prompted to start budgeting.  They learned techniques such as shopping around for the best deals, using coupons, choosing off brands items, and not buying item on impulse.

Before the day ended, the students had a three-hour company meeting to finalize and practice their presentations. With excitement and nervousness, students used every minute they had to ensure their business plans were top-notch.