LANSING, Mich. — More than 100 Perry High School sophomores received a dose of financial reality at an event organized by LAFCU.
The two-hour Financial Reality Fair simulated one month of independent adult living. Students chose a career and were informed of their salary and assigned a credit score. Next they identified purchases of goods and services, and borrowed and saved at a mock credit union. They then balanced their budget and visited a financial counselor to explore ways to improve their financial future.
“The concepts taught through the Financial Reality Fair are enthusiastically endorsed by the Perry community,” said Mike Foster, Perry Public Schools superintendent. “These are the practical things students learn in school, which do not show up on standardized tests but rather show up on the ‘test of life.’"
The fair was presented with help from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation. The MCUF provided materials and training designed to have a lasting impact on the financial understanding of participating teens.
Some students selected the best and newest items to purchase — the nice car, the large apartment, nicer furniture, expanded cable channels and premier cell phone service. But when comparing the costs to their budgets, reality dictated necessary adjustments to stay within the students’ means.
“This activity illuminated things the students had not considered,” said Jamie Antcliff, LAFCU Owosso and Corunna branch assistant manager. “For instance, some were surprised by car expenses beyond the purchase cost, such as insurance, gas and maintenance.”
Antcliff, who coordinated the fair with Alyssa Sliger, LAFCU marketing and communications specialist, said some students gained a new appreciation for what their parents have provided and the decisions they have made with regard to finances.
More than 30 volunteers assisted with the event including LAFCU representatives, Perry High School teachers, principal and National Honor Society students, and Mike Foster, Perry Public Schools superintendent.
The fair is an extension of the LAFCU-Perry Public Schools partnership forged in 2014. It includes programming for all students. Piggy banks and stickers provide learning lessons for elementary school students, and portable branches operated in school buildings with assistance from Perry students help older students understand personal finance.
“Our goal is to help students learn useful, real-life skills in a safe environment that will prepare them to succeed financially in the real world,” Antcliff said.
Chartered in 1936, LAFCU is proud to be mid-Michigan’s credit union, serving the counties of Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Livingston, Montcalm and Shiawassee. A recipient of the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award, LAFCU takes pride in bringing value to the financial lives of its members, neighbors, families and community. Offering a comprehensive range of personal and business financial products, LAFCU provides services that include checking and savings accounts, auto and mortgage lending, business accounts and business lending. LAFCU serves nearly 60,000 members, holds more than $600 million in assets, and maintains nine locations throughout Greater Lansing and Shiawassee County. Anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in its designated counties is eligible to join. Members enjoy benefits, such as lower interest rates on loans, higher yields on savings, insurance discounts, preferred seating for LAFCU-sponsored events, and access to 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the CO-OP ATM network. LAFCU supports and enriches mid-Michigan by donating funds and employee volunteer hours to many organizations and causes. To learn more about LAFCU, please call 517.622.6600 or find us online:
• Website: www.lafcu.com
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/LAFCU
• Twitter: @LAFCULansing
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