On March 21, more than 325 juniors at Wissahickon High School tested their budgeting skills at a Financial Reality Fair sponsored by TruMark Financial® Credit Union in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation.
Students chose a career, complete with a salary, and were given a budget worksheet. They were required to visit 14 booths to make spending decisions on necessities such as housing, transportation, food and clothing, insurance, and other categories within their budget.
As part of the exercise students also visited the “Wheel of Reality” where a spin of the wheel could bring good fortune such as a bonus at work or bad fortune such as unexpected car repairs. Following their selections, students met with financial counselors who reviewed their worksheets and advised them on adjustments that might be necessary to live within their salary constraints.
Lynne Blair, principal at Wissahickon High School said she enjoyed the conversations she had with students after they attended the fair. She quipped a number of students were sad they could not own a pet because the costs associated with it didn’t fit into their budget. Some students had tough decisions to make. One young lady said had to decide on getting a manicure or going to the gym. She said it was a tough choice, but she couldn’t afford both.
Representatives from local businesses, community leaders, students’ parents, and TruMark Financial employees manned the booths and helped guide students to make informed decisions as they budgeted for monthly expenses.