Over 200 Howell High School students received a financial reality check when they attended a Teen Financial Reality Fair on May 17. The Teen Financial Reality Fair gave students a crash course in real life budgeting while illustrating how expensive lifestyle choices can be. The fair was presented as part of a partnership between LOC Federal Credit Union and Howell Public Schools.
At the start of the fair, students received a budget worksheet with their gross monthly salary, their month’s tax breakdown, and their net monthly salary. With their budget in hand, students visited multiple stations where they made lifestyle decisions. These decisions included selecting a used or new car, eating out multiple times per week, and living in a one or two bedroom apartment. The goal was to pay monthly expenses while being able to set aside a certain amount of savings and stay within a budget.
“We believe getting young adults on track towards good money management early on can help them create healthy financial habits to last them a lifetime,” said LOC Federal President and CEO Jim Dickinson. “We are thankful to Howell Public Schools and Howell High School for the opportunity to partner together on this very important real-life simulation.”
“The Teen Financial Reality Fair was a wonderful learning experience for our students. It really showcased the importance of creating and following a budget, making sound financial decisions and putting money into a savings account,” said Jason Schrock, Howell High School principal. “I appreciate the partnership with LOC Federal Credit Union and the Michigan Credit Union Foundation and their support to provide this opportunity to our students.”
The Teen Financial Reality Fair at Howell High School was made possible by a grant from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation. The concept was developed by the National Credit Union Foundation for America’s Credit Unions. It is estimated that more than 85,000 high school students participated in a credit union Reality Fair in 2016.