By Carter Bracht, VP of Finance

April’s FCCLA hashtag is #FCCLAsavesUP. This month, we will be focusing on promoting the national program Financial Fitness. As teens in a world full of shopping malls, online shopping with 2-day free shipping, Chipotle, and Starbucks, we need to learn financial literacy skills to keep our splurging to a minimum. Keeping an active budget and tracking your expenses is a great way to keep on track of your money and save up!

This past February, Rylie Seaver, FCCLA National President, and I had the amazing opportunity to speak at the Financial Literacy and Education Commission Meeting. The purpose of this commission is to find avenues for improving awareness and education for financial literacy. After sharing some information about FCCLA, I shared my personal financial fitness story with some of America’s highest ranking leaders and agencies. This story included how teens and even adults who lack financial literacy skills end up in financial difficulties that they are unable to get out of. Luckily, with FCCLA, I made it out of my financial predicament and got on the road to success. As someone who has personally gone through a financial battle, I cannot stress how important financial literacy is. This is my personal story that was featured in Teen Times:

From Rock Bottom to Financially Fit

“Prior to joining FCCLA and even up to last year, I was an awful spender. My parents let me get my first debit card at 14, which was a very bad idea. I swiped my card almost every day, making useless purchases, spending my whole paycheck the second I would receive it. I eventually found out how to transfer money from my savings account and ended up with about $400 left to my name by the time I entered my FACS class. I had blown thousands of dollars on food and other useless things and had spent all of the money I had saved for college. I hit rock bottom and realized I needed to do something. I decided to take my first full FACS class and start my first project with Financial Fitness. I learned the importance of earning, saving, and protecting my money, which was a vital part of my plan.2017 ABut the biggest lesson learned through my class and project was how to spend my money. I learned that if you keep track of how much money you have saved and spent every day, you will make wiser financial decisions. I began budgeting my money and tracking every purchase I made, even if it was for a 50¢ granola bar. I now have $6,000 saved up for college, and I would not have this money available if it wasn’t for FACS, FCCLA, and Financial Fitness. Be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities available to you through FACS and FCCLA and exercise your Financial Fitness!”

Everyone must start somewhere when becoming financially fit. Start with a simple budget and track every purchase you make. Get a part-time job and take your financial support into your own hands. Say no to that sale item and put that saved money toward college.

Learning these skills early will help you in the long run and can really help you to exercise your Financial Fitness! Be sure to talk with your adviser about resources available through the FCCLA Financial Fitness national program and use the resources available on the FCCLA website, in the classroom, and on other government websites to help you in learning to become financially fit.

Be sure to share your story using #FCCLAsavesUP and send any questions or stories to

Happy saving!

Carter Bracht, VP of Finance

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