Students at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School had to make some tough financial decisions as they traveled through a Financial Reality Fair sponsored by TruMark Financial Credit Union on May 23.
More than 200 juniors and seniors 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.
Representatives from local businesses, students’ parents, and TruMark Financial employees manned the booths and helped guide students to make informed decisions as they budgeted for monthly expenses.
Students left with a new appreciation for their parents’ skills of budgeting. “It was really eye opening to see how many costs are associated with everyday living. I didn’t realize how much my parents have to pay,” said senior Sarina Smith.
“Life is hard,” one student commented as she completed the exercise and realized she didn’t have as much money left over as she thought she would.