For the third year in a row, the National CU Foundation will hold a Financial Reality Fair for high school students in conjunction with the CUNA GAC in Washington.
The fair will be at the Rayburn House Office Building on Wednesday, Feb. 27, from noon to 2 p.m. with students from the area expected to attend. GAC attendees can simply show up on the second floor of the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill at any time to observe the fair.
“Conducting a Reality Fair at GAC is a great way to expose legislators and their staff about the unique and impactful financial education programs that are offered by credit unions,” said Lois Kitsch, NCUF National REAL Solutions program director. “Not only are area high school students benefiting from the experience as well, but we welcome GAC attendees to the fair to see the benefits of holding a reality fair in their community.”
The Reality Fair concept is a unique opportunity for students to experience some of the financial challenges they will face when they start life on their own. It’s a hands-on experience in which students identify their career choice and starting salaries then complete a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food. Additional expenditures such as entertainment and travel are factored in as well.
Throughout the fair, there are many temptations for additional spending, and students must learn to balance their wants and needs to live on their own. After the students have visited the various booths covering components of independent living, students balance their budget, and then sit down with a financial counselor for review.