Students learn budgeting with YouthBuild

Sara Creamer, Fayette County Extension, and Vickey Leasure, YouthBuild Leadership instructor, presented a budgeting class to the participants of YouthBuild, a program sponsored by Community Action.

The YouthBuild website ( says: In the United States, YouthBuild programs give low-income young people who have fallen off the edges of society the opportunity to transform their own lives, get back on track to adult responsibility, and give back to their communities. Each year about 10,000 low-income young people who have left high school without a diploma enroll full-time in YouthBuild Programs for about 10 months. They spend at least 50 percent of their time, usually alternate weeks, in caring academic classrooms, and at least 40 percent in hands-on job training building affordable housing or other community assets.

The program allows the participants to achieve their high school equivalency credentials or high school diplomas in a caring individualized context; obtain job skills and earn a stipend, wage, or living allowance for building affordable, increasingly green housing for homeless and low income people in their communities; gain industry-recognized certifications in preparation for productive careers (in addition to construction, some train for jobs in healthcare, technology, or customer service); solve personal problems with counseling support, addressing urgent needs for housing or child care, record expungement, or other problems; give back and lead through participation in community service and advocating for their communities on the local and national levels; and transition into post-program placements, in college, registered apprenticeships, other post secondary opportunities, and employment, with support of a transition coordinator and mentors.

The budgeting class consisted of two sessions. In the first session, the class discussed wants versus needs, spending leaks, and worked through the budget process based on a scenario created by Creamer.

The second session the participants created a budget based on their spending. They recorded all their spending for a week and used that information to create a personal spending-savings plan.

The students found learning to reduce leaks, track expenses, and develop a spending-savings plan that was the most helpful. One student has already used the spending-savings plan to secure an apartment.

Creamer is available to present the budgeting workshop to groups. If interested, contact her at 740-335-1150 or by email at

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Sara Creamer, OSU Extension Fayette County, and Vickey Leasure, PhD, Leadership Instructor, work with students to write their spending-savings plan. Creamer, OSU Extension Fayette County, and Vickey Leasure, PhD, Leadership Instructor, work with students to write their spending-savings plan.

By Sara Creamer

Fayette County Extension