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Reese Education Center

Reese Education Center Hosts Reality Fair Activity for Students

This week, Alliance Federal Credit Union visited Frenship’s Reese Education Center to host a “Reality Fair” activity for students. The Reality Fair is designed to help students walk away with a better understanding of budgeting and making real life choices.  

“The Reality Fair teaches students how to budget with the income they will likely make with the career they each chose,” said Tara Seymour, Social Studies Teacher. “The budget sheet each student was given gave them an income and credit score. Students then went to six stations to learn how to budget. The stations included housing, transportation. food, clothing, entertainment, and a ‘Life Happens’ wheel.” 

The biggest takeaway from the students was learning how to adjust different “wants” and “needs” based on their income and expenses.  

“Many students realized they will have to adjust their spending on big ticket items to fulfill the budget. They had to decide whether to buy a used car, spend less on entertainment, eat out less, and to save 20% each month for the unknowns (car needs tires, someone gets sick, etc.),” said Seymour.  

Seymour enjoyed seeing how students reacted to real-life scenarios at the different stations. 

“It was neat to see students think out how they would adjust spending to not spend more than they had. Many realize they would be cooking at home and not have as much entertainment. Purchasing a vehicle was an eye-opener for many. The big brand-new truck with insurance, gas, the monthly payment and maintenance was just not worth it! Also, the importance of having a good credit score and paying bills on time!” 

Elyse Evans, the Community in School Coordinator at Reese shared that the students didn’t understand how to budget utilities at the beginning of the activity, but quickly learned how important it is to set aside money for that.  

“So many students did not know that they had to pay for water and electricity on top of rent, let alone how expensive bills can be if you own a home. I ran the housing station and had many conversations with students about this,” said Evans.  

Seymore enjoyed watching the impact of the Reality Fair on students.  

“It was fun to see students who are not usually engaged in class really get into making a budget and contemplating what to pick for life and not spend all their money,” said Seymour. “We hope that the takeaway is to save some money and make budgets to be financially sustainable.”