Diamond Credit Union and Tri County Area Federal Credit Union joined forces to present Pottstown High School students with a dose of Financial Reality. This is the second year that the credit unions came together to host this event for personal finance and accounting classes at Pottstown High School.
Financial Reality Fairs are a hands-on budgeting exercise for students. In preparation for the fair, students choose a career and are provided with a budgeting sheet including salary before and after taxes and including a college loan payment if applicable. When students get to the fair, they visit booths that represent real-life expenses. Required booths include housing, transportation, cell phone, clothing, internet, and more. Some optional booths include pets, and hair/nails/spa.
The students fill out their budget sheets and add up all of their monthly expenses. If their expenses are more than their income for the month, they must get a part-time job or revisit some of their booths and make more frugal choices. Once their sheets are all filled out and in the positive, students each have a one-on-one meeting with a financial counselor who talks to them about their choices and makes recommendations. At the end, students are always amazed at how quickly they can go through their money and are thankful for the experience.
Diamond and Tri County were not in this alone. The Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation has been working to bring Financial Reality Fairs to every corner of Pennsylvania over the past few years. The Foundation provided the Fair set-up materials and the credit unions used them to have a great Fair. We also had help from vendors like Wrigley’s Office Supply, who not only volunteered to help staff the event, but printed the participant’s souvenir T-shirts as well.
The staff and administration at Pottstown High School were also instrumental in making this happen. We are so thankful for their support and accommodation. Financial literacy is so important to the leaders at Pottstown High School, as we’ve seen through our involvement in Junior Achievement and their personal finance classes, and it really shows in the attitudes of the students. Thank you for having us, Trojans!
Working together to bring financial literacy to local students…That’s younity.