Post by: Katie Haseltine ’17
Photos by: Ashley Callan ’16
There are so many thoughts zooming through our minds as college students – with all of our time caught up in our social and academic lives, where do we find time to think about life after college? This is such an important topic that so many of us are oblivious to and it is time to narrow that gap. On Wednesday, March 23, the Heritage Family Credit Union, Academic Support Center, and Student Life department hosted a Game of Life Financial Reality Fair in hopes to heighten students’ awareness of financial literacy and managing expenses after graduation.
Similar to the board game Life, students had the opportunity to choose a potential career and build a monthly budget based on a starting salary for that position. In order to determine how they would allocate their expenses, students visited numerous stations to learn about different plans related to housing, transportation, food, night life, pets, furniture, cell phone, etc. In the end, each student had the opportunity to meet with a financial advisor to discuss their budget and how well they made out. Students’ who end with negative money were sent back into the game to re-work their budgets and take cuts where they need to so they would have money left over at the end of each month.
This was Castleton’s second annual Game of Life event and the turnout was a little more than last year. It was great to have another great turnout because we want to continue hosting this event and creating this awareness of financial literacy. We received phenomenal support from the Castleton community that included attendance from classes, student athletes, and the Student Government Association.
As the student hired to plan this event, I had moments of stress, but stepping back once the event began, I could tell that students were enjoying the game. At the same time though, students were also realizing and learning what it takes to live on a given budget and make cuts. Students made comments about their budgets and observations on their spending habits. Many indicated how informational the event is in creating a budget and generating an early awareness of what is to come after graduation. I am confident that this event will continue to grow and am excited to see what next year brings!