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Michigan Kids to Hear a 'Rockin' Message About Money

The band "Gooding" brings its financial literacy message to kids in Grand Blanc, Detroit, and Commerce this week. (Wade Hampton)
The band "Gooding" brings its financial literacy message to kids in Grand Blanc, Detroit, and Commerce this week. (Wade Hampton)
September 13, 2016

LANSING, Mich – It may sound like a strange combination, but a rock band is mixing music and a message about financial literacy for kids. The band Gooding is performing a few shows in Michigan this week as part of a 60-date nationwide tour at high schools.

The idea is to get a message to kids about saving money and avoiding payday or "same-day" loans to get by. It's part of the Funding the Future program and the band's frontman, who also goes by the name Gooding, said the earlier kids learn how to handle money, the less likely they are to make life-altering mistakes.

"We've heard so many stories about people who are working hard and just getting in these weird cycles of debt, and 1,000 percent interest and some of these same-day lenders," he said. "All these kind of things where you're not going, you know, slow and steady. "

The band performs, then they talk to students about their own personal stories about handling money. They'll be at Grand Blanc High School today, Voyageur College Prep in Detroit tomorrow and Walled Lake Northern High School in Commerce on Thursday.

Gooding said kids need to know that things like winning the lottery, or signing a big sports or record contract are a good dream to have, but it isn't likely to happen.

"I was one of those kids who believed you either have to be a rock star or a sports star, and you know you gotta get famous overnight, all this hype you see on television," he added. "And we're really there to say, 'Look, we're a rock and roll band and a lot of great stuff has happened to us but it took us awhile and we're still a small business.'"

Gooding said it's important for young people to avoid getting caught up in these so-called payday loans, with super-high interest rates, which he sees as one of life's biggest financial traps. An estimated 600 payday lending businesses in Michigan each issue about 3,000 loans a year.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - MI