Sikorsky Credit Union hosted several Financial Reality Fairs in local high schools in a virtual format. This year 227 students from Shelton High School, Trumbull High School and Derby High School had the unique opportunity to practice managing personal finances and create a household budget. Also, in-person Reality Fair presentations were provided to 530 students at Bunnell High School and Stratford High School.
This hands-on activity helps students to understand what exactly goes into maintaining the lifestyle they see for themselves in the future. According to Vincent Ciambriello, President and CEO, “Financial Literacy is an important topic, and we hope this budgeting exercise inspires a lifetime of good money management skills.”
In the Reality Fairs, students choose a career and discover their entry-level salary. Then they need to manage their personal finances by creating a household budget. Students are required to allocate money towards housing, transportation, food, utilities, etc., and also have the opportunity to set aside money for nightlight, travel and entertainment. Students are able to complete this exercise using an app, which makes the process efficient. The app also has surprise pop-ups which mirrors many situations that people may find themselves dealing with in real life, such as paying for an unexpected flat tire or broken cell phone screen. The goal of this exercise is to create a successful budget based on their income level and not spend more than they earn.
Kimberly Petrafesa, Lead Advisory Teacher at Derby High School, mentioned, “Sikorsky Credit Union once again provided Derby High School with valuable life experience through their virtual reality fair simulation. Students were engaged and excited to participate in the activity. We are grateful for our partnership with Sikorsky Credit Union.”