By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Dearborn Public Schools high school students learned how to budget their expenses on a monthly basis based on the career choice they selected during the Financial Reality Fair March 14 at Michael Berry Career Center, 22586 Ann Arbor Trail.
Students began by identifying their career choice and the starting salary that comes with it before completing a budget sheet in order to live within their monthly paycheck.
The different stations students visited dealt with housing, transportation, food, clothing, and lifestyle expenses they would have to pay following college graduation.
Michael Berry Career Center Business Instructor Allan Farhoud said he attended a similar fair in Detroit and wanted to bring the event to the center for students to experience not just this year but in years to come.
“During the fair, students examined real life expenses combined with the income of their selected careers in order to find a balance on what they would be able to afford,” Farhoud said. “There has been a lot of feedback from students all morning and they learned a lot about the choices they will have to make to budget efficiently.
“Most of the important questions they asked were centered around housing and transportation options that would best suit them.”
Seniors Alexis Bazzi and Nora Allabbah selected the careers of nurse practitioner and nurse, respectively, to complete their fair experience.
Bazzi said she learned expenses add up fast, especially with cable and electronics.
“I had to downgrade in a couple areas in order to maintain my budget,” she said. “I was able to see which of the options under each expense station would best fit my career choice and its as fun adding up everything to get an end result.”
Allabbah said the biggest takeaway for her was how to be financially stable in order to stay within her budget.
“Car and housing were the most expensive items that I had to take into consideration, but I received great advice while going around to each station that I will implement financially when I do graduate,” she said.
The fair was hosted in collaboration by Catholic Vantage Financial Federal Credit Union, Parkside Credit Union, MemberFocus Credit Union and Michigan Legacy Credit Union.
Parkside Credit Union Chief Development Officer Heather Colonius said she enjoyed watching the students put together the budget and expenses which allowed them to determine perception versus reality.
“It was fun to engage with students to see their knowledge on budgeting,” Colonius said. “So many students were already informed on credit and students loans which lets us know the message is getting across. With roots in Dearborn we were excited to host financial fairs like this one to benefit the community.
For more information on the Financial Reality Fair go to www.mcul.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)