October Coalition Meeting – Budgeting on a Dime!

Our October coalition meeting was filled with a plethora of financial information!

We enjoyed a delicious dinner from Peppino’s Pizza along with dessert. After the children headed off to childcare the parents participated in a listening session. The listening session consisted of a series of questions related to the Preschool Development Grant. A key part of this grant effort will be to develop a 5-year strategic plan to strengthen the current early childhood system to support Michigan’s vision of being one of the best states to raise a child. The purpose of the listening session was to hear from the people most impacted by the plan.

Our financial speaker was Jinnifer P. Ortquist, from MSU Extension. She talked about the importance of creating a budget or spending plan every month. She emphasized that the spending plan needs to be accurate and based on actual income and expenses.

There were various ideas provided by our speaker and parents about ways to save for Christmas including: making homemade gifts, saving bonuses from plasma donations, saving the money saved from clipping coupons and the infamous regifting!

One of the most impactful lessons of the night was on credit card use and interest. For example, for a $7,000 credit card balance at 18% interest, making the minimum payment, it would take 18 years to pay off the $7,000 balance plus $6,500 in interest expense!

Overall our meeting was filled with valuable financial information! The children were even able to decorate penny banks provided by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.


Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.