ALTUS, Okla. (TNN) - How much things like insurance, transportation and groceries truly cost was at the center of a ‘Reality Check’ for Altus High School freshman Wednesday.
Each student was randomly assigned a job, a salary and a family. They then had to go around to different booths where they would buy childcare, furniture, clothing and pretty much anything else you need once you’re an adult. The goal was to teach kids how expensive things can be and how important it is to budget.
"I'm married with two dependents so that was over $500 a month for me for groceries. It was crazy,” said Altus freshman Wyatt Jensen.
Wednesday, Jensen left his education behind to become a game warden with a wife and two kids.
"It’s already getting down pretty tight, so we’ll see. I haven’t even bought a house yet,” Jensen said.
Each student was responsible for making their own decisions on where to save money. Some decided to get a cheaper car or to skimp on things like entertainment and clothing. Others decided they just didn’t need things like insurance.
"These will give these kids the experience of knowing how much things cost and a real-life situation where they can see how much money they can possibly make and how far that will go when they’re having to buy things,” said Altus High School teacher Kayla Bull.
Each booth was manned by volunteers from the Altus community who actually work the jobs they were there talking to students about.
"Everybody we asked said yes, the community is excited about it. We want to make sure the Altus community knows how thankful we are that they stepped up to support us in this experience,” Bull said.
Roughly 80 volunteers showed up to help these young people prepare for the decisions they’ll have to make for real in just a few short years.
"At the community college, we deal with students who aren’t a lot older than this. I think there’s a lot of them that get to a point in their life, 18, 19 sometimes even 20 years old that they need a reality check. This is so great that Altus is doing this, I’m so thankful for all the volunteers that are doing this. I wish all the surrounding schools in our community would do something like this, it’s great for the students,” said Chad Wiginton, Western Oklahoma State College President and volunteer at the event.
The plan is to hold this event for freshmen every year.