Annual event adds to financial literacy

SANDPOINT – Kids are expensive, food is expensive, and being an adult is hard.

These were among the takeaways local high school students say came out of the annual financial fair held on Wednesday.

More than 260 seniors from the Lake Pend Oreille School District attended the event, which aims to teach students financial literacy skills and give them an understanding of what budgeting might look like in the future. .

“Certainly what happens to be an adult and all the expenses you’ll have to consider,” said Sandpoint High School senior Masey Korsten. “Instead of just eating and having a car, you actually have to go through housing, bills and all that kind of stuff.”

Shirley Kin, friend and senior colleague at SHS, agreed, saying she had learned how much expense goes into the life of an average person.

“Certainly how to manage finances and certainly how to balance a checkbook better because I learned [how before] but not like that.”

The couple, who had just come out of the segment deadline with childbirth, where they learned they had children and needed to budget for the many things they needed.

“Kids are really expensive,” Kin said.

For Anna Rennick, a senior colleague at SHS, going through the finance fair opened her eyes to the different things she has to budget for – and how much they all cost.

“It’s really like a reality check on how much money you lose based on food,” Rennick said. “You need food to survive and you lose money like crazy.”

Clark Fork High School seniors Owen Bailey and Hank Barnett said the experience gave them valuable advice on how to manage money.

“So you can take care of yourself for the future,” Bailey added.

While it was a simulation, the “My life, my money” event gives high school students a checkbook and assigns them a card filled with information about their career, family, income, income from their spouse, their debts and other information.

The students then had the opportunity to shop around and calculate other monthly expenses, such as car payment, childcare and clothing. A second section of the event was a quiz-style game show where students learned how to manage credit and save money.

“Finance Fair is simply an amazing event because of how the community comes together to make this happen for our students,” said SHS Post-Secondary Advisor Jeralyn Mire. “We’re really lucky. There are so many community members and businesses involved.”

The fair has been a staple of the Lake Pend Oreille School District for 10 years. A partnership between the school district, local businesses, credit unions and organizations, the event gives local teens a taste of what it takes to succeed in the world.

Volunteers and sponsors from more than 20 area businesses participated with the STCU providing the curriculum and Horizon Credit Union and the Selkirk Association of Realtors sponsored a scholarship competition.

“Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Mire said. “One student remarked, ‘I didn’t know it was so expensive to raise children. I’m going to thank my parents tonight.’ »

Volunteers and sponsors look forward to the day, said Stacey Darley of the Spokane Teachers Credit Union.

The day gives business leaders and volunteers a chance to not only interact with students, but to break down a topic that is difficult for many to understand in an interactive and fun way, Darley said.

“The whole community comes together and we work together to make a really fun day for everyone to talk about financial education, something we don’t always talk about,” she added. “We don’t like to talk about death. We don’t like to talk about how hard it is to make enough money to save money to pay your bills. And today we’re talking about that.”

Darley said she loved how the community came together to organize the event, giving hundreds of high school students a taste of financial literacy.

“Yeah, I think the biggest things we hear at the end of the day are ‘Wow, I didn’t realize how expensive everything was’, ‘I didn’t know it was going to be so hard.’ “I feel bad. My parents have to pay for this or that. No wonder my parents are stressed,” Darley said. “That’s a lot of comments we hear at the end of the day.”

“My Life, My Money” event sponsors include STCU, Horizon Credit Union, North Summit Church, Sandpoint High School, Taylor and Sons Chevrolet, North 40 Outfitters, Yoke’s, Second Avenue Pizza, Community Assistance League, Starbucks, Selkirk Association of Realtors, Lake Pend Oreille School District, Larson’s, Panhandle Alliance for Education, Super 1 Foods and Sandpoint Furniture and Carpet One.





Geraldine L. Melton