State Treasurer Curtis Loftis visited the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Upstate Evaluation Center to talk about the importance of budgeting money Tuesday.

Treasurer Loftis spoke to about 30 juveniles at the facility in Union as part of the “Mad City Money Program” that helps teens understand the importance of taking charge of their finances.

“There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who can manage their money and those who can’t,” Treasurer Loftis said. “Quite simply, if you can learn to manage your money, you’re going to have a much better life.”

Earlier this year, DJJ and Founders Federal Credit Union partnered to teach financial literacy to juveniles. Tuesday’s exercise challenged juveniles to plan out every aspect of a simulated budget.

“This teaches these kids about life, about making choices,” said Wendy Fuller, a financial education representative for Founders. “It forces them to start thinking about what it takes to make a budget work and to ask questions.”

Treasurer Loftis added that while it can be difficult for teens to think long-term, using money and resources wisely is critical to being prepared to meet life’s challenges.

Treasurer With Juvenile 2

“Being smart with your money gives you flexibility, and it lets you have more choices when making life decisions,” said Treasurer Loftis. “I am proud that our state’s Department of Juvenile Justice recognizes how important it is to give teens this kind of education, and that Founders FCU provides such a great course.”

The Department of Juvenile Justice says more than 240 juveniles have completed the program since June.