SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan Savings and Jobs for Maine Graduates joined forces on March 29 to host the second annual “Life’s Dollars and $ense” Financial Literacy Fair, providing Skowhegan, Madison and Carrabec High School seniors with a hands-on opportunity to learn about, and demonstrate proficiency in, personal finance.

The event took place at Skowhegan Area High School, an area in which many people are still dealing with the devastating effects of the recession — including job losses, home foreclosures, bankruptcies, and other family emergencies, according to a news release. Despite this, the majority of high school students in this area do not receive comprehensive financial literacy lessons.

In response to this need, Skowhegan Savings and JMG created the “Life’s Dollars and $ense” Financial Literacy Fair to bring financial literacy education to more than 200 students in Somerset County. During the event, students took part in a financial literacy simulation in which they visited various booths staffed by Skowhegan Savings volunteers, where they faced choices about how to allocate their simulated budget.

During the simulation, students also learned the impact of their short-term financial choices on their long-term financial health. The impact of things like damaged credit scores, defaulted loans, and other common mistakes were included in the simulation.

After two successful years of co-hosting the program, Skowhegan Savings says the event has been so well received; they plan to make it an annual event.

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