Financial literacy for high school students is an important part of the studies in many schools, whether it is learning about credit, savings, budgets, or investments.
The Credit for Life fair was recently held at B.M.C Durfee High School in Fall River Massachussetts, and was a fun and practical exercise in what to do with money. The fair is now in its fifth year at the school
“It’s part of our financial literacy program”, said Guidance Department Head Kim Napolitano
Napolitano said prior to the fair, students choose an occupation, research the salary for that job and then work with math teachers on the next step.
“They work with their math teachers to figure out the taxes,” Napolitano said.
“They can get a second job if they’re not making enough,” she said, mentioning a strategy all too familiar to working people.
Once they’ve figured out how much they’ll have to spend from their imaginary job, the students head down to the fieldhouse where they can spend their imaginary money at booths selling imaginary houses, clothes, cars, trips to Aruba, all the needs and extras of modern life.
BayCoast Bank assists with the presentation of life’s realities.
The two Saras, Sara Hilton and Sara Freitas had markedly different jobs in the instructive fantasy but they had thrown in together.
“We’re going to be roommates,’ Hilton said. “That cuts everything in half. “I’m getting everything as cheap as I can.”
Hilton had chosen to be a teacher, a job she does want to get eventually and her income was about $47,000 a year.
“I don’t think that’s too bad,” she said.
Freitas, on the other hand, was not on her way to a nice little home and teacher’s pension,.
“I wasn’t there that day,” Freitas said.
Not being there on the day you picked your occupation left Freitas with a job described as “counter attendant” and a yearly income of $17,340.
“That’s why I have a side job,” Freitas said.
The side job she’d found was in retail, the paycheck about $122 a week. Neither Hilton nor Freitas had yet visited the booth where you could pick your housing, purchase or rental.
Booths included nearly every necessity and luxury and there was a “reality check” booth where you could be rewarded(or punished) with life-changing financial events of the “lose your job” and the “get a raise” variety.
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