WOODBRIDGE, N.J. - Woodbridge High School was recently host to a Financial Reality Fair, created by New Jersey's credit unions. 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.
CJFCU CEO and NJCUL Board Member Mike Reilly helping
a student choose a food plan at the Fair.
This Fair was provided to Woodbridge High School at no cost to the school because of the hard work and dedication of credit unions like Central Jersey FCU who organized the fair.
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 their bills for the month and making some extra purchases along the way.
A student spinning the Wheel of Reality.
Six classes totaling around 120 students came to the school's gym to take part in the Fair. Over a three-hour period, each class visited the 14 booths manned by about 30 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. 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 the Fair, 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.
If you would like to volunteer or donate to the Reality Fairs program, or have any questions, please contact Candice Nigro at 800-792-8861, ext. 110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.