Eight Graders Learn Budgeting

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Superior Telegram

Northwestern Students Tackle Budget Simulation

With limited funds and limited time, eighth-graders tackled monthly budgets at Northwestern Middle School’s Reality Store on Wednesday, March 27. Each was handed a fictional job, salary and family size and tasked with navigating a series of booths.

Anna Lee, an eighth-grader from Northwestern Middle School, "purchases" a pet snake from a booth run by Northwestern High School seniors Journey Amundson, center, and Gervase Thompson during the Reality Store event Wednesday, March 27. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Anna Lee, an eighth-grader from Northwestern Middle School, “purchases” a pet snake from a booth run by Northwestern High School seniors Journey Amundson, center, and Gervase Thompson during the Reality Store event Wednesday, March 27. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Some offered necessities like housing, food, a car and health insurance. Others promised exotic travel destinations: the chance to own a pet hedgehog, movie tickets and fancy phone options.

“It’s hard keeping track of all your money,” said South Range eighth-grader Amy Alaspa, who was simulating raising five children and a husband on a camera operator’s salary of $32,630.

The simulation was eye-opening for Maple’s Anna Lee, who learned about working as a computer programmer who had no children and earned $72,850 a year.

“Life is expensive,” Anna said. “I didn’t realize it until now. I realize how many insurance things you have or need to have and how much groceries cost.”

Eighth-graders from Maple, Solon Springs and South Shore school districts line up to "purchase" a vehicle from Jennifer Kurosky, a BDC agent for Benna Ford, during the Reality Store event. Students were assigned a salary and tasked with meeting their family's monthly bills. "I wish this was real life," Kurosky said. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Eighth-graders from Maple, Solon Springs and South Shore school districts line up to “purchase” a vehicle from Jennifer Kurosky, a BDC agent for Benna Ford, during the Reality Store event. Students were assigned a salary and tasked with meeting their family’s monthly bills. “I wish this was real life,” Kurosky said. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

In addition to ticking off the necessities, students were handed random fate cards. For Amy, that included a $125 carpet cleaning bill. She had to find $450 in her budget to repair the washer.

Eighth-graders Amy Alaspa, left, and Anna Deye react to "random fate" cards they received during the Reality Store at Northwestern Middle School on Wednesday, March 27. Alaspa was handed a carpet cleaning bill for $125 and Deye had to "donate" $50 to charity. They juggled the extra expenses in with monthly bills. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Eighth-graders Amy Alaspa, left, and Anna Deye react to “random fate” cards they received during the Reality Store at Northwestern Middle School on Wednesday, March 27. Alaspa was handed a carpet cleaning bill for $125 and Deye had to “donate” $50 to charity. They juggled the extra expenses in with monthly bills. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

Each student had to exit the simulation with $100 left. For some, that meant buying luxury items like ATVs; for others, it meant signing up for Badgercare and heating assistance.

A price sheet shows how many eighth-graders had chosen to "purchase" pets with their fictional monthly household income. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

A price sheet shows how many eighth-graders had chosen to “purchase” pets with their fictional monthly household income. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

The Reality Store helps students focus on…

 
 
 
 

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