West Carroll students learn about budgeting at “Financial Reality Fair”
ATWOOD, Tenn. — Students at a local West Tennessee school learned valuable life lesson.
As adults, managing your budget is an everyday task. For kids, it’s a foreign concept.
Tuesday, West Carroll Junior/Senior High School and Leaders Credit Union teamed up to teach students about financial planning at the “Financial Reality Fair.”
“Students become adults in this simulation. They become adults, and they are going through a month’s long simulation. It’s a financial simulation, so they’ll be going through their income,” said Shea Brown, the community engagement coordinator for Leaders Credit Union.
“They’re actually given a budget, an occupation, some are married, some have children. It’s just a real eye opener, real life situations,” said West Carroll Special School District Superintendent Dexter Williams.
Juniors and seniors had to go to different booths and make decisions on how to spend their money on things like transportation, entertainment and even food.
Another booth threw them a twist.
“We have a station called ‘Life Happens,’ where everyday things happen that you don’t plan for. Things come up. So they’re getting a real taste of real life this morning,” Williams said.
“I just had a random bill come in for $95, and I don’t even know what it was,” said junior Trey Browning.
Most students finished the lesson debt-free, but many were still surprised at how much things cost.
The project gave students a look at something you don’t often learn in the classroom.
“Life is insane and crazy, and it changes all the time, and so you have to expect a lot of that, and financially you have to think about things like that,” said junior Hope Coleman.
“I don’t think we place enough emphasis, and we need to, on financial literacy. These are things that can make or break our students when they leave us, so it’s another step in the right direction,” Williams said.
Leaders Credit Union says they hope to continue the same program at schools across West Tennessee.