Reality Day with Huntington Bank
Huntington Bank is working to prepare students for life after high school. Part of the preparation is understanding finances, credit, credit scores, and savings. At Jeannette High School on February 18, 2020, Huntington Bank presented a financial overview to students and brought along a hands-on, experiential project to learn how financial decisions can impact their lives.
Huntington Bank assigned students hypothetical careers, gross and net salaries, family situations, and credit scores. Students were in charge of their budget expenses including transportation, housing, childcare, savings/investments, food, and entertainment. Students took a hard look at their budgets as they make decisions. Kylie T., a Jeannette sophomore, reported to TCP, “I enjoyed the activity because I learned a lot about real-world expenses, but it was frustrating because I kept going broke! I had to keep thinking about what would matter to me in the long run and adjust my budget.” Exactly what Huntington Bank wants students to understand.
Many students discovered how quickly their expenses can outweigh their income and have to begin re-evaluating their purchases. Huntington Bank spoke to students about ways to change their financial situations, such as advancing their education, getting a second job, or visiting the bank for assistance. At the end of the morning, students asked questions and reflected on their outcomes.
Jeannette guidance counselor, Sheri Binda, said, “I like the fact that the simulation opens students’ eyes. They are asking pointed questions and are going to go home and talk to their parents. This will open up conversations about finance.”
The second Reality Day between Huntington Bank and Jeannette was a success, according to Chuck Spicuzza, Branch Manager/Assistant VP for Huntington Bank, “The biggest takeaway I get is that kids really get an understanding of what things cost,” said Spicuzza, “and an appreciation for what their parents do for them.”