Wissahickon High School Juniors Gain Hands-On Budgeting Experience at First Annual Financial Reality Fair

More than 325 Wissahickon High School juniors went through the process of making day-to-day financial decisions as an independent adult at the First Annual WHS Financial Reality Fair sponsored by TruMark Financial Credit Union. The event, held on March 21, was an opportunity for students to learn budgeting basics – a critical and necessary life skill. Watch the video from the event below:

During the Financial Reality Fair, students chose a career, complete with a salary, and were given a budget worksheet. They were required to visit 14 booths, manned by nearly 50 volunteers, to make spending decisions on necessities such as housing, transportation, food and clothing, insurance, and other categories within their budget. Following their selections, students met with financial counselors who reviewed their worksheets and advised them on adjustments that might be necessary to live within their salary constraints.

Three students got creative with their budgeting so they could buy a house. Aidan Murphy took out a loan from the credit union to make the down payment, then rented rooms to CJ Purnell and Tayden Orenstein to help pay the mortgage. Another group of six students also split their housing costs.

Lynne Blair, Wissahickon High School Principal, said she enjoyed the conversations she had with students after they attended the fair. She said a number of students were sad they could not own a pet because the costs associated with it didn’t fit into their budget. Some students had tough decisions to make. One young lady said she had to decide on getting a manicure or going to the gym.

(l to r) Volunteers Kenneth Frebowitz, Susan Donahue, Herbein + Company, Inc. and Kristen Rawlings, Wissahickon School District, stand by the Wheel of Reality at the First Annual WHS Financial Reality Fair on March 21. As part of the budgeting process, students had to spin the Wheel of Reality, which could bring good fortune such as a bonus at work or bad fortune such as unexpected car repairs.