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High School Students get a Financial Reality CheckSubmitted: 04/29/2013
Story By Kailey Burton


Photos By Kailey Burton

MERRILL - If you lose the board game of Life, that's ok.... Financial failure in real life is not. Today Merrill high school students took a page from the reality "checkbook" .

Students chose a job, and were assigned "obligations". Those could be a mix of children, spouses, loans, and credit card debt.

"The students go through each station and they have to make decisions and it's determined by how much money they have in their budget for that month," said Deb Brunett, Business Teacher at Merrill High School, "I've heard quite a few of them say, 'Oh my gosh, I'm stressed out and I don't even have to do this yet!"

Learning to balance a checkbook is one thing… Learning about life is another. Brunett hopes her students will learn to prepare for the unexpected.

"If the furnace goes out, you don't always have three thousand dollars you can just take out. So hopefully getting them prepared for some of those unexpected things will help them out in the future," said Brunett.

In the real world of rising debt, and a sluggish economy, more students could probably use this kind of lesson. Their teachers hope this generation won't make the same mistakes.

"If you look at the last five years the foreclosures, they don't have emergency funds. People don't anymore. Some do but there's a lot that don't and times became hard, and they didn't have anything to back themselves up"

A number of area businesses added some realism to the event. The volunteers manned booths to represent different necessities.


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