New Jersey Credit Unions Bring Interactive Financial Reality Fair to South Amboy Middle/High School

South Amboy Middle/High School was recently host to a New Jersey Credit Union Financial Reality Fair, hosted by Raritan Bay Federal Credit Union and Parlin DuPont Employees Federal Credit Union. A Financial Reality Fair is a fun, interactive program that allows students to get a feel for real-life budgeting and understand the importance of saving money and spending wisely.

After choosing a career and finding their starting salary in that field, students were provided a monthly budget worksheet. They then pretended to go through “life”, stopping by booths set up in the school’s cafeteria, to purchase cars, rent homes, finance furniture, etc. Their goal for the Fair was to stay within budget and have money left in their pockets after paying all their bills for the month and making some extra purchases along the way.

Four classes totaling around 150 students came to the school’s cafeteria to take part in the Fair in four separate blocks. Over the course of four period(s) – around forty-five minutes – each class visited the 14 booths manned by about 26 N.J. credit union volunteers. Students were busy financing cars and furniture, figuring out living situations, and sometimes making some extravagant purchases along the way, marking them all down on their budget worksheets. Students then spun the Wheel of Reality, a wheel that could either help or hurt their finances with real-life situations such as having to pay for car repairs or receiving a bonus at work.

Financial Counselors took time with each student at the end of each period, going over the students’ monthly expenses and one-time purchases, offering advice and guidance. All of the students enjoyed the hands-on, interactive experience of putting their financial literacy skills to the test.

PDF available here.

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