SHS students are exposed to the budgeting concerns of a 25-year-old

At age 15, did you know what to expect in 10 years? Members of the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce Career Education Committee and volunteers from local businesses are giving Sandy High School’s freshman class that chance to be prepared.

On Thursday, March 6, Sandy High School’s freshmen crowded into the gym trying to make decisions for their future. It was the chamber’s second annual “Thrive at 25” event.

Prior to the event, the nearly 400 students were told to fill out a form describing what they expect their life to be like at the age of 25. They were asked questions such as, “What is your occupation?” “Are you married?” “Do you own your home or rent?” and of course, “Do you have children?”by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Students at the housing station were asked if they planned to own or rent their home, and how big a space they needed.

On Thursday morning, the gym was outfitted with about 13 stations, manned by volunteers from the community, ready to throw curve balls at the students. Each station was meant to give the students expenses to deduct from their expected monthly salary. Stations had topics including taxes, insurance, utilities and groceries. There was even a wheel of fortune station to enter some unpredictability to the students’ monthly budgets.

Volunteer Heather Michet of Iris Healing Arts helped run the healthcare booth. Options were available for partial or full coverage and for a single person or for a family. She helped one young woman who had planned to have a husband and one daughter at age 25. After finding that her full monthly health coverage would cost $520, the student said, “Having a family is expensive,” with which Michet could only agree with a smile.

Volunteers from businesses including Geren’s Farm Supply, Clackamas County Bank, American Family Insurance and John L. Scott Realty participated in the event.

City Manager Seth Atkinson, Finance Director Lisa Young and Economic Development Director David Snider ran the taxes booth. Atkinson, who participated last year, said it’s a fun event. “It’s very enlightening,” he said.

Freshman Dana Welty said it was the taxes that surprised her the most. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Freshmen Dana Welty and Everett Davis.

“It was definitely different than I expected,” she said. “I thought I’d be fine.”

Welty said it definitely puts things in perspective, and she’s now planning to save a little more. “I probably won’t be shopping every weekend,” she said.

Freshman Everett Davis had a slightly different experience. After subtracting all of his monthly expenses, he still had funds left over.

“It turned out really well,” he said. “I think I balanced things pretty well.”

But not everything was as Davis expected — between insurance and gas, transportation costs blew him away, he said.

“Everybody wants a cool car, but when you see what it’s going to cost, it changes things,” Davis said. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Booths around the gym displayed monthly payment options for insurance, groceries, rent and childcare.

After all of the students finished making their rounds and added up their expenses, Superintendent Aaron Bayer thanked volunteers and addressed the freshman class.

He asked students which of them stayed under budget, advising them to give their friends money advice at lunch, and which of them ended up several hundred dollars in the whole.

“Use this as motivation when you go back to class,” Bayer said. He asked students to visualize the goal of where they want to be in 10 years, “and pursue it with veracity,” he said.

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