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PRINCETON — Princeton High School juniors got a rude awakening about the value of the dollar in the real world during a personal finance simulation workshop called “The Reality of Money” held at the school on Oct. 24.
The seminar was presented through a partnership with Johnston County Public Schools and State Employees’ Credit Union to aid in financial education efforts.
The goal, according to SECU Benson branch manager Elizabeth Fair, was to help the students prepare for their future by exposing them to a financial planning scenario and help them learn the value of budgeting and building their savings.
“We hope they will understand the importance of maintaining good credit and furthering their education and how living within their means allows them to save for their future,” said Fair.
Students received random profiles for a 25-year-old based on such factors as education, marital status and income along with expenses including child care, credit cards, rent/mortgage, insurance, food and transportation.
Volunteers were set up at 12 stations to help the students with making their imaginary financial decisions.
“This activity not only gave them a glimpse at creating a spending plan with the money, but it also reiterated the importance of having good credit and implementing a savings plan to help benefit them once they get out into the real world,” said Fair.
After learning what was involved with balancing a budget and facing costs associated with raising a family one girl said she was planning to marry somebody rich and famous who would pay all her bills so she could go shopping, according to Princeton High career coach April Mitchell, who was volunteering one of the stations.
After hearing facts and figures associated with child care another student said she would not be having any children and would be moving back in with her mother so she could have enough money to afford the kind of car she wanted.
“We hope this exercise will help our students see that there is value in furthering their education after high school,” said Princeton Middle-High career development coordinator Kathryn Farrior.