HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. - Financial Reality Fairs are the newest way New Jersey credit unions are bringing financial literacy to high school students around the state. A Reality Fair is a fun, hands-on way for students learn about managing personal finances and the benefits of joining a credit union.
At the Fair, students get a feel for real-life budgeting. They "pretend" they have just graduated, and have nothing - no car, no residence, no cell phone, etc. They are provided with a budget worksheet, which includes a starting salary of a position in the field of their choice. They then go through "life", stopping by booths to purchase cars, rent homes, finance furniture, etc. Their goal is to stay within budget; in other words, still have money left in their pockets after paying all their bills for the month. They then meet with a financial counselor to learn from the experience.
These Fairs are part of the REAL Solutions program funded by the National Credit Union Foundation, the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation, and the NJCUL. NJCUL coordinates these events with volunteers from New Jersey credit unions.
N.J. credit unions are holding Reality Fairs this November; we'll be at Pompton Lakes High School in Pompton Lakes, N.J. on Friday, November 12, and at Carteret High School in Carteret, N.J. on Tuesday, November 16.
We need volunteers! Any credit union employee or volunteer can help at a Reality Fair. To sign up to volunteer or for more information, contact Candice Nigro at 800-792-8861 ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.