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CUDAHY - More than 170 Cudahy High School students got a taste of what is takes to prepare for their future.

During Reality Check Day, a school-oriented program sponsored by Educators Credit Union, students got a demonstration of what life is like once they leave the classroom and enter the workforce.

They were assigned a career based on their interests, given a monthly income based on the average salary for that job, a randomly assigned credit score and were responsible for managing their household incomes based on their personal information. They then stepped into the “world” to manage their bills and responsibilities. Some students were married, divorced or had children. If they had kids, they were responsible for finding things like childcare or a baby sitter when they go out for the night.

The students say the experience was very eye opening and will now help them start thinking about how they spend their money.

“Definitely, I’ll create a budget for myself,” said senior Maria Delao. “I found that I spend money on things I don’t necessarily need. Instead of buying that $5 coffee every day, I can cut down on that and make my own coffee.”

It’s not just the monthly budget that challenges students to properly manage their account but other real life problems. Students can gain or lose money at the “Fate” table. Fate could determine if they need new tires, lost their wallet, received extra money from working overtime or were given money as a gift. Walking too fast from table to table? Students could be caught by the police officer distributing traffic violations to students.

The March 29 event at Cudahy High School was Educators Credit Union’s ninth Reality Check Day of the school year. The credit union hosts these events across Southeastern Wisconsin to help carry out its mission to educate and advise its members and communities.

“With our passion for financial education and deep relationship with our area schools, hosting a hands on financial literacy event just made sense,” said Educator Credit Union Director of Community Engagement Victor Frasher. “I can’t tell you the number of times that students have commented, ‘What a great experience. I did not understand how expensive life can be.’ ”

Educators Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution serving more than 140,000 members with branches in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties. Educators membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Southeastern Wisconsin.

For more information about Educators Credit Union, visit www.ecu.com.

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