Toteach the basic money management skills that are the key to financial success, SECU – Maryland’s largest credit union – The MD & DC Credit Union Association, and other participating credit unions will hold a Reality Fair for more than 175 students from Sparrows Point High School on Thursday, October 26, 9 am – noon, at SECU Arena in Towson.
“The Reality Fair is designed to provide students with a unique perspective on life after graduation that will help them to learn how to make smart financial decisions now and in the future,” says Rod Staatz, President and CEO of SECU.
With volunteers from SECU on hand to provide support, Sparrows Point High School students participating in the Reality Fair will be assigned careers based on their individual interests, along with a monthly salary. They then will have to figure out how to live within their means while paying for the basics, including housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, food, and other essentials.
As in the real world, students will have to make the same kinds of decisions they would have to make in their everyday lives – Where do I want to live (and how much will it cost)? Can I afford a car or do I have to find some other means of transportation? What kinds of food should I buy each week?
There will also be opportunities to consider additional spending on entertainment, pets, gym memberships, and other non-essentials. In addition, students will spin the “wheel of life” that replicates those unforeseen expenses that could impact their budgets. After making their decisions which will be recorded on a customized budget sheet, the students will balance their budgets and then sit down with a SECU financial counselor to review their decisions.
SECU has a long history of supporting financial education, especially for young people. The financial literacy programs SECU supports include the Howard County Applications and Research Lab (ARL) and Washington High School Millionaire's Clubs; the Maryland Coalition for Financial Literacy; and the Maryland Council on Economic Education.
SECU recently launched Own Your Money, a free financial educational resource open to SECU members and non-members alike. Own Your Money includes videos and online tutorials that empower consumers to effectively manage their money and make smart financial decisions. To log-in to Own Your Money and get started, visithttps://www.secumd.org/advice-planning.aspx.
Since December 2016, 275 students from Academy of Finance programs at Lansdowne, Randallstown, and Overlea High Schools, and Morgan State University have participated in Reality Fairs sponsored by SECU. SECU plans to roll out additional Reality Fairs to schools and student groups throughout Maryland during the 2017-18 academic year. The next Reality Fair is scheduled to be held December 4 on Towson University’s campus.
Founded in Baltimore in 1951, SECU is Maryland’s largest credit union. SECU is ranked among the top 50 credit unions for total assets in the U.S, which total $3.56 billion as of July 2017. Headquartered in Linthicum, MD, SECU has 22 branches in Maryland and thousands of free ATMs. For more information about SECU, visit www.secumd.org.