The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 17, 2014

Fair offers Danville students a taste of financial reality

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE — Juniors and seniors got a dose of real-life during a financial reality fair Wednesday in the Danville High School gym.

The fair teaches students about the importance of budgeting, planning for the unexpected and gives them real-world scenarios where tough decisions are needed.

“We give them a budget to simulate for the month and they meet with financial counselors on how they did and who give them tips to do better,” said Coleen Snover, training and development specialist for Service 1st Federal Credit Union which sponsored the fair in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association of Harrisburg.

About 220 students participated.

“The idea is to teach them to save,” said John Kebles, of the state association.

The minimum savings they advise is 3 percent of their take-home pay.

Students start with a salary in their chosen field and take into consideration student loans, housing, furniture, cell phone expenses, a car loan, food, clothing, pets, wellness, utilities, gas, renter’s insurance, night life and other costs.

The students, who were coming from their math classes, rotated among booths that simulated all aspects of an actual monthly budget including temptation items.

“This is a great opportunity for students to find out what their potential salary can actually afford,” said Katie Kelley, Service 1st student services coordinator.

The credit union hosted a similar fair last year at the school.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.