Lauderdale County eighth graders learned the importance of managing money today during a reality fair at the Tommy Dulaney Center.
“As we all know, as we get older, our financial burdens become more and more. The younger they can learn this and the better they can save their money and use it wisely, it’s going to be better off for everyone in the community,” said Lauderdale County Schools Career and Technology Director Kevin.
Sponsored by the Meridian Mutual and MUNA Federal Credit Unions, the reality fair exposed students to real-life financial scenarios.
“We give them an income. They have to go around to all the necessity tables-housing, transportation, utilities. Then we have some fun things. We have a pet station. We have a salon station. They get a reality of what’s going to happen once they graduate from high school or college, have an income coming in, and how they have to be responsible with their money,” said Meridian Mutual Federal Credit Union President Debbie Smith.
In addition to traveling around to different tables, students got a chance to spend the reality wheel, in which they factored in unintended expenses like getting a flat tire or a speeding ticket, and gifts such as birthday money from mom.
They saw firsthand just how far a dollar would and wouldn’t go.
“I wanted to buy the gaming system but it’s $300. So, I don’t think that’ll be an option that I can get based on my budget,” said Student Council President Veshal Konnar.
Smith said the reality fair helps motivate students to go to college.
“We have two different sheets that we hand out to them, one where they graduate from high school, and one where they graduate from college. The one that graduates from college has a higher income. That’s what we’re trying to encourage to our youth, to get an education.”