Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union (PBFCU) kicked off October with a financial reality fair. Sponsored by the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation (MCUCF), PBFCU hosted the event at Three Rivers College on October 2, 2013. Seven high schools from the Poplar Bluff area participated—317 students attended.
In addition to PBFCU representatives, volunteers from 40 nearby businesses attended the reality fair.
“This event could not have been done at this magnitude without the participation of these businesses and their willingness to invest in the lives of area youth,” says Davine Conover, PBFCU Business Development Specialist, and event organizer.
The fair gave high school seniors a dose of reality when it comes to balancing finances, like household expenses, childcare costs and unexpected life events.
Folders were given to students upon their arrival at the reality fair. Each one contained a randomly assigned occupation, income information, family breakdown, expenses and a checklist. Booths were scattered around the room and corresponded to an item on the list—like buying a home or car.
Business volunteers manned the booths and assisted students in completing the checklist included in their folders.
“We’re trying to find ways to let them see the value of what they have and how to protect their families and future with wise financial management,” says Conover.
One student asked Conover about how credit cards worked. Conover explained to the student that she would pay more than $1.20 for every dollar she spent on the card. She found that she wouldn’t have enough money to make ends meet if she used the credit card too often. It was a lesson the student won’t soon forget.
Photos of the financial reality fair are available here.
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