Submitted by Catrinna Berginnis

Courtesy photo
Mineral County High students were treated to an interactive financial budgeting workshop on March 21.

Approximately 100 local Mineral County High School students undoubtedly got a “Bite of Reality” on Thursday, March 21. Mineral County High School’s GEAR UP program collaborated with Financial Horizons Credit Union to host a fun, interactive financial budgeting workshop.

The local students are randomly assigned a fictional occupation, official salary, dependent spouse and typical family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments through the Bite of Reality 2 App on either their modern smartphones or mobile tablets provided by Financial Horizons Credit Union. The students next visited various stations to “purchase” housing, personal transportation, food, personal clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs. The students encountered at each station “pushy” car dealers, smooth-talking salesmen, or challenged on their personal decisions on lifestyle choices like riding the bus versus buying the luxury car or motorcycle as well as making decisions for their entire family.

While some financially concerned students made modest spending choices and stuck to a budget, others experienced the unpleasant consequences of spending beyond their means after purchasing luxury vacations and sports cars, surrendering them without enough to pay for their necessary operating expenses. Many luxury items were reluctantly returned and more realistic budgets set after students sought financial advice from the credit union table.

This event was a massive hit with the students and went off without a hitch from the amazing Financial Horizons Credit Union Staff and many community volunteers.