Students get crash-course in money management
LEDGER – Upperclassmen at Mitchell High School this past Friday got hands-on with money management.
In a simulation organized by State Employees Credit Union, or SECU, of Spruce Pine, each student was assigned a job, a family situation and was given a budget.
With their given budget, they were tasked with buying a house, a car and more all while keeping their funds balanced.
Students were also assigned a credit score, which determined what kind of financing they had access to and what their subsequent monthly payments would be.
Students made tough decisions on what cars they could afford and what the monthly car payment would mean for their other necessary expenditures such as groceries and clothing.
Some students were married in the simulation and had varying numbers of children. Students could not leave their spouse or abandon their children and had to use funds in their budget to keep them clothed and fed.
SECU sent 30 volunteers to the school to make the “Reality of Money” simulation come alive. Volunteers were stationed at various booths were they presented buying options to students and helped them keep track of what the purchases meant for their overall budget.
The upperclassmen also heard a presentation from NC Works. The lowerclassmen rotated through a series of presentations and speakers within smaller groups during the morning.
Mitchell’s Career and Technical Education Facilitator Denise Murphy said the simulation was a success.
“The students enjoyed the simulation and had an opportunity to see how expensive everything is in life,” she said. “A lot of the students learned that if you have children you also have to think about childcare, insurance, food and clothing.”
Murphy added many students learned valuable financial lessons that will serve them well in the future.
“The students had an opportunity to learn that when you budget, sometimes you have to make tough decisions on how you spend your money,” she said. “There were many students who realized that they had to choose to get a second job in order to meet their financial needs.”