William Tennent High School students had to make some tough decisions on budgeting as they traveled through a Financial Reality Fair, hosted by TruMark Financial Credit Union on Oct. 24.
More than 200 juniors and seniors chose a career, complete with a salary, and were given a budget worksheet. They were required to visit 14 booths to make spending decisions on necessities such as housing, transportation, food and clothing, insurance and other categories.
Everyone faces unexpected situations, and as part of the exercise, students spun the Wheel of Reality, which represents the unknown. A spin of the wheel could bring good fortune, such as a tax refund, or bad fortune, such as unexpected car repairs.
Following their selections, students met with financial counselors, who reviewed their budget worksheets, checked students’ calculations, and provided counseling if students needed to make changes to meet their expenses. These changes might include eliminating a purchase or getting a part-time job.
State Rep. Meghan Schroeder (R-Bucks) and two of her staff members joined employees from local businesses and TruMark Financial, community members, and students’ parents, who manned booths and helped students make informed decisions as they budgeted for monthly expenses.
Students left with a new appreciation for their parents’ skills of budgeting.
“It was really stressful making these decisions,” said one student.
“I don’t want to be an adult,” added another.