Frasher said students may have a family, be married, divorced, have pets, pay or receive child support, and even may be given a randomized credit score. That final piece is one that young people oftentimes don’t even think about, he said.
“One of the things students don’t really appreciate is how impactful score is on your adult life,” he said.
And the simulation, which until the pandemic was held live at each participating school, doesn’t even come close to ending there.
Students are required to “purchase” a home, pay for utilities, transportation, entertainment and clothing, all on a budget, Frasher said. At the end, they also could be hit with an unforeseen situation, such as a major expense or a traffic ticket.
It’s all part of the real life they soon will face when they get out into the world.
“We really put a lot of things in there that us as adults are paying for every month,” Frasher said. “We’re paying rent. We’re paying the mortgage. We’re going to to the grocery store. We’re paying for utilities. Not entertainment as much lately with COVID. But all those things that students don’t really think about being in high school, how expensive their life can be.”
As part of the program, the Educators Credit Union team compiled about 60 different careers and matched them with the average salary a Wisconsin resident could expect to earn.