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LAFCU Financial Reality Fair Simulates Real-World Money Management for Perry High School Students

lafcuLAFCU partnered with Perry High School March 21 for a hands-on, two-hour Financial Reality Fair to teach 150 students how to make real-world financial decisions and manage money efficiently. Students were assigned a career, an annual income, and a credit score.

“The goal of this event is to provide students with real-life experience and teach them how to navigate different financial situations in order to set them up for financial success in life,” said Shelia Scott, LAFCU community financial education and business development officer. “It’s fun to watch students learn how their income should drive their financial decisions and how important it is to budget, as well as the cost of everything, from rent to car payments. It is really an eye-opening, invaluable experience for them.”

After being assigned a career, students visited booths staffed by LAFCU employees with their budget sheets to identify monthly expenses, such as housing, transportation, food, and leisure. Additional expenses, such as hobbies, clothing, and pets, were factored in as well. Students could select items from various price tiers, creating temptation for additional spending. At the final station, a LAFCU financial counselor assisted students in evaluating their choices and exploring ways to improve their financial decision-making.

cu2LAFCU Financial Reality Fairs are presented with help from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation, which provides materials and training aimed at improving teens’ financial understanding.

LAFCU has long supported financial education and literacy, and the credit union has expanded its efforts to help high school students learn critical financial decision-making skills as well as how to manage money as adults.

In 2017, Perry High School hosted its first Financial Reality Fair. The Financial Reality Fair is an extension of the LAFCU-Perry Public Schools partnership, which began in 2014 with the goal of preparing approximately 2,500 students for financial success and includes the financial literacy curriculum at all grade levels. The March 21 event marked the first time Perry High School has held the financial fair after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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