Making the Most of Your Fair Winnings

by Hope Roush, OVB Financial Literacy Leader

 

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Just like that another fair season has come and gone in a flash. While kids are now moving their focus from fair projects to books and school, it’s never too early to begin thinking about next year’s fair.

Specifically, what to do with those fair project winnings. For many youth the year is spent working on projects to prepare for the year’s upcoming fair. In the case of livestock projects especially, the preparation to keep up with such projects can be quite costly. This is why the fair’s livestock sale is essential to many 4-H and FFA exhibitors. Money earned from the sale often helps with cost for the following year’s fair project. Fair winnings are typically spent on food for the animals as well as other bedding, medicine, and supplies necessary to maintain the project.

While utilizing a majority of the fair winnings for additional projects is a great idea, it can also be beneficial to put some of the earnings towards other goals and plans. Here are some helpful tips on ways to make the most of fair winnings:

  1. Open a savings account or add money to your existing savings account. It’s never too early to start saving for the future, and making this a habit as a child can lead to smart financial habits as an adult. College, for example, is quite costly with expenses ranging from tuition, room and board, and meal plans to book and supply fees. Placing a portion of your fair winnings in a savings account to help with college costs down the road can be beneficial to your future financial well being.
  2. Spend a portion on something you really want. Kids constantly want the latest gadgets. To a child, the thought of waiting until their birthday or the holidays to receive their current “want” can be agonizing. While saving fair winnings is very important, spending some of it can be a whole other lesson. When it’s THEIR personal money, kids tend to be a lot pickier with what they choose to buy. Using fair winnings to purchase something special that teaches kids the value of hard work. They worked for that money, and now they can reap the benefits. Spending also helps children learn money management skills.
  3. Give back. Donating money to charities is both a fulfilling experience and a great way to help those in need. By donating a portion of fair winnings to charity, children learn the value of giving back. If a local organization is chosen, kids also learn the importance of helping their own community. Children are the future, and teaching them to give back at a young age can help create a stronger community down the road.

Congratulations to all of those who participated with projects at this year’s fairs. You help make the fair what it is. Your hard work and dedication is certainly appreciated by Ohio Valley Bank. Remember to utilize your fair earnings wisely. See you in 2015! We can almost smell the funnel cake already!

About Ohio Valley Bank
Ohio Valley Bank, established in 1872, currently serves personal and business customers from 15 offices throughout Ohio and West Virginia. The Bank's headquarters are located at 420 Third Avenue in historic Gallipolis, Ohio. The company has never changed names, making it one of the oldest banks in the state. Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

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