Students learn money management in simulation

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Students from several Chicopee schools gathered Friday morning for  a unique event focused on financial responsibility.

Hundreds of high school students from Chicopee High, Chicopee Comp, and Holyoke Catholic gathered at Elms College Friday morning for a “Credit for Life Fair.” Organizers told 22News that their main goal was to open people’s eyes to the reality of the expenses of life.

The fair is a simulation, in which students randomly choose a credit score, and then have to make financial decisions based on their budget and chosen career. The participants have to visit booths in which they are forced to deal with how to spend on their needs, such as housing, insurance, and transportation.

One of the major focuses was teaching the students what it takes to keep a good credit score, and how a bad credit score can negatively affect several aspects of their lives.

“We’re hoping just to educate them a little bit so they can avoid some of those mistakes, and really do a good job protecting their credit and making sure they take accountability for it and not let anyone else interfere with their ability to earn good credit,” Darleen Libiszewski of Chicopee Savings Bank said.

Another lesson of the day was that college is an expense that students could be paying for many years to come. Organizers urged the importance of choosing a school and a career path carefully, in hopes to end up with as little student loan debt as possible.

Another Credit for Life Fair will be held for students in the Springfield area next week.

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