videocameraI continue to be impressed with efforts the state government and other organizations in Ohio are taking to teach people, especially teens, about personal finances. Last week a local credit union taught teens about real life finances,which was an eye opening experience. Today the Ohio Attorney General announced that it would be running a video PSA contest for high schoolers, focused on making "Smart Money" choices.

Several suggested themes include:
  • reading the fine print
  • free isn't always free
  • avoiding offers too good to be true
  • building good credit
  • preventing identity theft
  • safe Internet shopping and networking
The winning public service announcement will be reproduced professionally at the Best Buy headquarters and aired throughout the state in 2009. Winning teams receive Best Buy gift cards as well as a recognition plaque and the winning school also receives a $5,000 Best Buy gift card for computer equipment. The contest is open through December 1st and the first 100 teams to enter receive a $25 gift card just for entering.

I think this is a great idea not only because those who participate will gain personal finance knowledge, but because they will have the opportunity to educate their classmates. These teens will undoubtedly share their experience with their peers at lunch and other high school events, raising the financial IQ of my great state quicker than a class or assembly ever could.

I wish I could enter just so that I could recreate my favorite PSA from the 80's, which showed the effect of drugs on your brain. My version would open on a wad of cash announced with, "This is your wallet". As I poured gasoline on the bills and lit them, it would proclaim, "This is your wallet if you don't read the fine print". Any Questions?

I'm partial to my remake but I still want to know, what would your "Money Smart" PSA be? Let your creative juices flow in the comments below.


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