Waipahu High Students Get A Dose Of Financial Reality

Financial education often is not part of high school curriculum, but Waipahu High School is making it a point to teach its students good financial organization.

It hosted its first Get REAL Financial Reality Fair program in late February on campus, thanks to Financial Reality Foundation and Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union in Waipahu.


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Students use the fair's Wheel of Reality to find out what unexpected life event can hurt or help their budgets.

Two fairs were held Feb. 23, plus a third Feb. 26, and more than 40 credit union staff and community volunteers offered students solid financial advice to keep them on a budget.

But learning to stick to a budget was just one part of the educational fair. It also included a future life scenario that had students choose a career after college, purchase a home, choose a cell phone plan, buy groceries and more.

Some students had children and a spouse to care for, while others had mountains of credit card or student loan debt.

As many adults know, life throws us curveballs, and the financial fair’s

Wheel of Reality was on hand to dish out random life events, such as paying off debt, family matters and health issues.

Once all expenses were budgeted, students met with financial advisers, who helped them understand the importance of planning for the future and preparing for financial challenges while focusing on saving money and thrifty practices.

Prior to the Feb. 23 and 26 events, the Get REAL Financial Reality Fair program was offered only in Alaska. Waipahu High hopes to host this event annually.

According to Financial Reality Foundation, the program is designed to offer students an opportunity to learn about managing personal finances in a fun, realistic way.

For more information, visit mvfcu.coop/education/get-real.html.