The Connecticut Financial Reality Fair, Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)3 foundation created to support youth financial literacy in Connecticut. The major focus of the CT FRF foundation is on providing Financial Reality Fairs for high school students.
The Financial Reality Fair is a 2.25-hour experiential learning program in which students practice living within their income for a month. Students learn the importance of budgeting, putting needs before wants, the impact of their credit score, paying themselves first, and having a financial plan for the future.
In preparation for the Fair, students research the career they want to have after graduating from school, its beginning salary, and how much post-high school education is necessary to obtain the position.
Fair volunteers create a unique budget worksheet for each student based on the researched information and the student uses that information to obtain housing, transportation, clothing, food, etc., for a month. The last stop is with a Financial Counselor who reviews the student’s choices, verifies he or she lived within their income, then discusses a financial plan for the student in the future.
The CT FRF foundation raises funds to offer this experience at no cost to the school other than transportation to and from the Fair. In October 2012 the foundation celebrated the 10,000th student attending a Fair in Connecticut.
Connecticut credit unions recognize the need for financial literacy among Connecticut youth. To assist schools and parents in their efforts, the Connecticut credit union community has banded together to create a Financial Reality Fair experience for high school students.