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.
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.”
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.
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.
The Reality Store helps students focus on…
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