Several hundred Columbus City high school students got a glimpse into the reality of financial responsibility that awaits them after graduation. On Friday, October 5, they participated in Get Real, a financial literacy program hosted by Huntington Bank and The CW Columbus, to help them understand what it will be like to manage their money in the real world. The event was held at the former Southland Mall (3700 S. High Street) in German Village.
Booths are set up where students learn about and, using a fake checking account, pay for certain necessities. For example, when students visit the auto insurance booth sponsored by Huntington Insurance, they learn about insurance premiums for their cars and write checks to cover their monthly costs.
"We give them the responsibility for how their life will look once they get out of high school," says Christy Manson of Columbus City Schools.
Learning to balance a checkbook, manage a monthly salary and manage a Huntington Bank checking account are all part of the Get Real experience. Students who participate are assigned an employment position and family status, such as "two children" or "no children." Students use their accounts to pay for housing, childcare, taxes, education, transportation, utilities, groceries and other expenses.
"Making financial decisions isn't as easy as you may think," says Christina Brown, Vice President and Corporate Volunteer Manager at Huntington Bank.
Many students have to take a second job to cover their monthly bills. It can be described as an interactive game of life.
The CW Columbus would like to thank Huntington Bank and Columbus City Schools for making 'Get Real' possible again this year!