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ACPS and Local Credit Unions Offer Financial Reality Fair


Reality Fair

Last month, local credit unions came together to assist Allegany County Public Schools teachers and parents in increasing financial literacy among high school students. The credit unions of the Western Maryland Chapter, along with the MD/DC Credit Union Association joined together to create a Financial Reality Fair experience for students currently enrolled in Personal Finance class.

The Financial Reality Fair serves as a unique opportunity for each student to experience some of the financial challenges they may face when they start life on their own. It provides a hands-on experience where students select a career choice and research what their starting salary would be. Using a budget sheet, they must try to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food. Students were also given options for additional spending on luxury items. Each student controlled the choices they made during the simulation and needed to learn to balance their wants and needs to live on their own. At the completion of the exercise, students balanced their budget, showing them how the choices they made affected their monthly budget.

“Thanks to the Allegany County Board of Education for their collaboration on providing the students of Allegany County with some of the best financial guidance possible,” says Becky McKenzie, President of WEPCO Federal Credit Union and president of the Western Maryland Chapter of the Maryland / DC Credit Union Association. “Hopefully this will give them a better understanding of credit, finances, and budgeting, allowing them to have the best start for a brighter financial future.”