TINTON FALLS, N.J. - New Jersey credit unions brought the Financial Reality Fair program to Monmouth Regional High School on Tuesday. A Financial Reality Fair is a fun, interactive program that allows students to get a feel for real-life budgeting and to understand the importance of saving money and spending wisely.
This fair was provided to Monmouth Regional at no cost to the school because of the hard work and dedication of credit unions like United Teletech Financial FCU who organized the Fair.
Monmouth Regional students stopping by the nightlife booth.
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 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 of their bills for the month.
Five classes totaling around 200 students came to the school's gym to take part in the Fair. Over a four and half hour period, the students visited the 14 booths manned by about 30 N.J. credit union volunteers. Students spent the time financing cars and furniture, figuring out living situations, and sometimes making some extravagant purchases along the way.
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.
To show their appreciation, students that participated in the Fair signed a "Thank You" poster, which they presented to volunteers.
At the end of the Fair, Financial Counselors took time with each student to go 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. The school showed its appreciation by presenting United Teletech Financial with a poster signed by many of the students, thanking the volunteers for bringing the Fair to the school.
If you would like to volunteer or make a contribution to the reality Fairs program, or have any questions, please contact Candice Nigro at 800-792-8861, ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.