Students getting hands-on chance to learn money skills

"Reality Fair" being held at Greenfield Community College

Image Courtesy: Greenfield Community College

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – High school students may not have to consider their household budget or worry about investments, but it won’t be long before they do. With that in mind, Greenfield Community College and UMass Five College Federal Credit Union are offering students at four local high schools a chance to learn about good financial decision-making hands-on.

They are hosting a “Reality Fair” Tuesday and Thursday. The fair works by putting the teens in a situation in which they have a career and must fulfill their needs through a monthly budget. They also have to put money away for retirement.

After they are done with a series of exercises, their choices are evaluated by a financial counselor as well as local employers, like car salesmen and realtors. More than 200 high school students participated in the 4th annual “reality fair” at GCC Tuesday.

Kaylee Gibson a junior at Pioneer Valley Regional School said, “It really is a reality check it shows you what you need to plan for and what expenses you’ll have to deal with.”

Taj Hanjoyner a senior at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School said, “It’s an eye opener on how really you have to manage your money now I’m thinking about investing and other things to make sure my budget is where it needs to be.”

Another 200 students will attend the “The Reality Fair” on Thursday. “The Reality Fair” runs from 9am to 1pm at Greenfield Community College.