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South Chattanooga hosts teen money management class

For teens in the inner city, having access to money means more than just going out to eat with friends or buying the latest video games.

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Students participate in an instructional class at the South Chattanooga Community Center. The center offers a wide variety of programs that target teens and help them develop life skills or pursue their interests. The “Money Matters” class currently being offered is geared toward helping teens handle money responsibly.

Tahmesha Washington, a representative from the Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga, said that many area inner city teens who have jobs or access to extra income contribute that money back into their household, whether that’s paying for a phone bill or buying extra groceries. After local teens repeatedly asked about how to get jobs or how to more wisely save their own money, the organization decided to create a money management class designed for teenagers, she said.

“Over and over again they’ve been talking to us about it and they’ve shown us it’s a need they have,” said Washington.

Each Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. the club is hosting a class called “Money Matters” at the South Chattanooga Community Center, located at 1150 W. 40th St. The class is open to all teens and won’t have a strict format. It will range in topics from starting a bank account to the importance of making good investments.

“The earlier they can learn about money management, the better way they look at money and deal with money when they get grown,” said Washington. “Good practices usually start when people are young, and if they already have those habits in place it won’t be so difficult for them to open up accounts or start an IRA or CD in the future.”

In addition to the regular class programming, she said the group may partner with the the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s Reality Check program that teaches students about the realities of different careers, or provide the Career Launch program that showcases a variety of possible careers for students. For more information about the class call 425-3550.

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