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Money Matters Blog

Friday, May 15, 2020

School Spotlight: Hillman High School Students Learn about Budgeting

While Community Financial can’t be in the schools right now due to stay-at-home measures put in place throughout the state, we are grateful to look back on the financial education our school partnerships have provided throughout the year.

Community Financial’s school partnerships provide financial education to many students in Northern Michigan.  Our school partners include: Gaylord Intermediate School, Lewiston Elementary, and Hillman Elementary School.  Hillman High School has enlisted Community Financial’s help with providing financial education to their students as well.  Hillman High School’s eleventh and twelfth grade students last year participated in a Community Financial sponsored “Reality Fair,” where students were asked to navigate the world of finances as adults!



Northern Michigan Education Partnership Coordinator,
 Angela Corbin, works with Hillman High School students to
 assist in making good purchasing decisions when buying
 their phones, internet, and cable plans.  
Students decide which type of daily transportation
 will fit within their budgets.  Students learn how
 their credit score also affects their payments.   

The “Reality Fair,” developed by CUNA and used by credit unions around Michigan, is designed to engage students in making money-smart adult choices.  Students begin the Reality Fair by receiving a profession with a set salary and credit score.  After students are taught about credit card debt, credit scores,  student loan payments, and setting a monthly budget, they are tasked to choose their transportation, housing, child care, home essentials, food, clothing, etc.  The goal is for students to build a monthly budget within their set means. 

Students hard at work choosing their home furnishings.
  If they chose to live at home, this station is very inexpensive!
A student finishes her final calculations.  Will she have to make any adjustments to her budget?

Transferring Teen Budgeting Skills to Adult Life

As Hillman High School students quickly realized, creating and maintaining a monthly budget as an adult requires making some tough decisions.  Luckily, through simulations like the “Reality Fair,” students learn the basics of how to make money-smart choices. 

With stay-at-home procedures still in place, Community Financial realizes that homes have become classrooms, making this the perfect time to explore financial education! Below are some resources that students and adults can use to help with their budgeting endeavors.  Check them out to find support with budgeting, finances, and other eLearning techniques you may find helpful:



Your Turn:  Which financial resources have helped you in creating and maintaining a budget?

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