Rotarian offers financial seminar _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Jennifer Mounts, of Regions Bank, was the guest of Rotarian Theresa Payment, seated, Oct. 9. Mounts explained the concept behind the Financial Education seminars that are provided free by Regions to businesses, schools, students and residents of Zachary and the region.

Jennifer Mounts, branch manager at Regions Bank in Zachary, was the guest of Rotarian Theresa Payment on Oct. 9. Mounts explained the concept behind the financial education seminars that are provided free by Regions to businesses, schools, students and noncustomers of the bank.

The course helps people of any age make sound financial decisions, Mounts said.

“Credit card bills, debt, saving and financing higher education may not be at the forefront of most young peoples’ minds, but the financial decisions they make today will have a long-term impact on their lives,” she said.

Mounts shared these staggering statistics about financial stress: 83 percent of workers report having it, employee financial stress costs employers $5,000 per employee per year, 42 percent of American adults do not follow a budget, 26 percent do not pay their bills on time, 32 percent have no savings and 44 percent have not allocated anything for retirement.

“Regardless of income, 70 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck,” Mounts said. “That’s scary, especially when you think about the fact that other than four states, none requires seniors to pass a personal financial class before graduating.”

EverFi, a six- to nine-week course offered free to 25 area schools, including Zachary High, teaches 11th- and 12th-graders how to balance a checkbook, about the five components of a credit score, about overdrafts and types of accounts, and how to budget.

“It’s important our kids be financially sound,” said Mounts. “We want to empower students to do this on their own.”