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‘Ales & Assets’ class focuses on finances and fizz

What could be more fun than learning about the financial ins and outs of banking, budgeting, home buying and all that blah blah?

For most, the answer is “pretty much anything.”

But Linn-Co Federal Credit Union in Lebanon may have found a way to make financial understanding more “fun-ancial” through its “Ales & Assets” education series.

“Our board of directors decided a few years back that we need to be more active in the community with  financial education, and, frankly, when you put out to the planet that you’re offering financial education, it is really difficult to attract people because these are real yawners,” said Rebecca Grizzle, chief sales officer at Linn-Co.

They also wanted their topics to appeal to younger people in the community, she said, but such subjects can be drier than a gin martini on men’s night or summer in the Sahara. But when Grizzle heard that a credit union marketer in Portland was meeting with members in pubs to teach on financial topics, the idea gave her a sobering thought.

“We came up with this idea of, ‘Come listen to us for an hour on different topics and we’ll buy you a beer,’” she said.

The board loved the idea, and so far the series hasn’t gone flat.

Joseph Holt has been to several of the classes because he wanted to learn, he said. So far, among other things, he’s learned some of the complexities of the lending world, as well as the difference between banks and credit unions, he said.

Sometimes they also learn about the beer they’re drinking.

“It’s fun and informative, and it’s more fun and informative when you learn about what you’re drinking,” Holt said.

Grizzle pointed out that Ales & Assets is not an alcoholic function. Linn-Co gives one drink voucher, and attendees can choose to buy any kind of drink they want with it.

Ales & Assets is free to attend, and serves up the following eight topics, which cycle through approximately every 16 months: Microbrews & Mobile Banking; Fraud & Fermentation; Hops & History; Stout Savings; Lagers, Lending & Credit; Brews & Budget; Suds & Social Security; and Malts & Mortgage.

For more information, contact Kathleen Burt at (541) 259-7920 or go to linncofcu.org/ales-and-assets.