TWIN FALLS, Idaho — There’s no handbook for adulthood, unless you’re a student in Magic Valley High School’s Reality Town. Friday, Feb. 11, students are getting a taste of the real world.
Reality Town is a simulation that aims to provide an opportunity for students to learn about budgeting, insurance, debt, savings and more. The event is for eighth and ninth graders to take on the financial obligations of a 30 year old adult.
"It’s a very important so that they learned at a young age to be able to take care of themselves as well as their families and their future families, because we don’t want to send them out into the real world not having these fundamental life skills of being financially literate and budgeting for their every day expenses," said Annie Peterson, Work Base Learning Coordinator for Magic Valley High School.
Participating students receive a Reality Town Student Handbook and Personalized Pay Stub, and set out to 22 different Reality Town businesses. There, they practice making financial decisions and budgeting to fit the needs of their hypothetical family. They learn to consider the real costs of housing, transportation, groceries, childcare, clothing and insurance when thinking of their real world expenses.
"We can prepare ourselves better and get a better idea to see how truly expensive things are, and how hard it actually is to live on your own and how to manage your money so you can make it… I think it’s really important because I don’t feel like schools stress it enough," said Alexis Brandell, eleventh grader at Magic Valley High School.
The hope is that students will be better prepared for their futures and have an understanding of what their parents and care takers face on a daily basis.