Students take part in interactive financial education

BURLINGAME, CA (May 5, 2014) — The El Camino Chapter of the California/Nevada Credit Union League facilitated a “Bite of Reality” Fair at Burlingame High School on Friday, April 16th.  Annie Miller, a Burlingame High teacher and United Health Credit Union board member, played an important role in bringing the fair to the school. The two-and-a-half-hour, hands-on simulation offered a taste of financial realities.

Each teen was given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. The students then walked to various table-top stations to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs.

This interactive activity taught them how to make financial decisions and gave them a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget.  Participants had to deal with a pushy “car salesperson” and a commission-based “realtor.” There was also a “Fickle Finger of Fate” to give some of the students unexpected “expenses” or “windfalls”—just like in real life. The program demonstrated the importance of weighing their wants versus their needs.  There was also a “credit union” to help them with their financial questions.

Bite of Reality has several benefits:

  • Teaches basic money management in a safe, fun setting
  • Simulates everyday financial challenges and situations
  • Introduces the next generation to the benefits of credit unions
  • Helps build relationships between schools, educators, and parents in the communities

Since the fair, the El Camino Chapter has been approached by other area high schools after hearing of its success from Mrs. Miller.

The Bite of Reality Fair is offered free of charge to participants.  The RMJ Foundation provided all the materials needed for the program, which was sponsored by: United Health CU, San Francisco FCU, Sequoia FCU, San Mateo CU, Patelco CU and SF Police CU.

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