Students get money tips during Financial Planning Month
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
October is Financial Planning Month, and an engaging event is helping high schoolers think about their money-managing futures. More than 90 Bite of Reality fairs have reached nine-thousand students across the West, including in Idaho.
Sarae Bay, manager with the GoWest Foundation, an organization that works with credit unions in the region and sponsors the fairs, said during the events, each student is assigned a persona.
"That persona includes an occupation, income, family description, any possible debt that they might have, including student loans for example, and students visit nine different merchant booths to make financial decisions about housing, transportation, groceries, child care, dining and so forth," Bay explained.
Bay added students complete a 90 minute budgeting exercise to give them a realistic look at how to adjust their finances.
She said students have provided feedback on how thankful they are to get this kind of experience, which is hard to find in the real world.
"Another said, 'It's very difficult to budget when you don't try to plan it out. Just winging it doesn't work,'" she continued.
Bay added this experience can have lasting impacts, and cites money management as a useful tool for people of any age.
"Financial planning and capability skills are really muscles that we have to use. We can read about the information, but until we apply it and have real-life experience with it, it's challenging to fully understand how it works," Bay said.
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