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Nearly 60 Students at DC's Washington Metropolitan HS Participate in Credit Union Financial Reality Fair

Fri, Feb 24, 2017

District Of Columbia

Nearly 60 students at DC’s Washington Metropolitan High School had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the financial challenges they will face as adults at Thursday’s Financial Reality Fair hosted by the DC Chapter of the MD|DC Credit Union Association and staffed by 40 credit union volunteers from the Washington area.

The fair teaches basic money management skills that are key to economic and career success. Students were assigned a career and monthly salary, and had to figure out how to live within their means while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing and food.

Students visited mock merchants such as apartment leasing agents, auto dealers, insurance agents and more, to obtain goods and services needed in everyday life. As in the real world, there were opportunities for additional spending on entertainment, pets, vacations and other non-essentials. There was even an element of surprise with a “wheel of reality” that could throw a curveball into their budgets with an unplanned expense or a windfall of cash.

“The Reality Fair helps students prepare for the future by finding out what it’s like to have a job, a salary and expenses,” said John Bratsakis, President/CEO, MD|DC Credit Union Association. “It’s truly a unique opportunity for each student to experience first-hand the impact financial choices can have on their lives. Students find it to be a truly eye-opening experience.”

To make sure their budgets added up, students reviewed their budget with a financial counselor. Students were encouraged to save a minimum of 10% of their income, placing 3% in a long term retirement investment, and 7% in a shorter term investment. 40 volunteers ran the booths and served as financial counselors.

Thanks to the volunteers:

  • Andrews FCU
  • Department of Commerce FCU
  • First Financial FCU
  • Interior FCU
  • Library of Congress FCU
  • MECU of Baltimore
  • Money One FCU
  • Nymeo FCU
  • The Partnership FCU
  • Police FCU
  • SECU
  • Treasury Department FCU
  • Washington Gas Light FCU
  • Morgan-Keller Specialty Contracts
  • MD|DC Credit Union Association