Reality Town Teaches Financial Responsibility

June 22, 2017 | Jamie Miller

As followers of Jesus, we are called to be stewards of God’s time and money. The Caldwell Adventist Elementary School (CAES) believes this skill of financial responsibility needs to be taught.

With this in mind, Reality Town, a financial simulation, came back to CAES by popular demand. Students in grades five through eight from the Treasure Valley attended this event.

During Reality Town, students are given the opportunity to take a glimpse into the future so that they can begin to plan now. Each student is presented with a booklet that includes their job, marital status, number of children, and a pay stub with annual gross salary and net salary. Over a two-hour period, the students circulated through 22 businesses including housing, transportation, groceries, insurance, medical, clothing and utilities.

Financial counseling was one of the 22 businesses available to students who ran out of money. Forgot to buy insurance before going to the medical or dental booth? That costs extra. Did you save some money for family vacation? Savings before spending your money was another option. How about charitable givings — did you give back to God?

Each station was staffed by local volunteers: parents, board members, pastors and local businesspeople. The fifth- through eighth-grade students who attended were from Boise Valley Adventist School, Caldwell Adventist Elementary School, Eagle Adventist Christian School and Treasure Valley Adventist School in Payette.

Most students seemed to enjoy the simulation, although some had financial burdens. Liz Sinigaglio, an eighth-grader, says, “I was a fast-food server. It made me scared of real life. I was stuck in a bad situation with only $1,064 a month. In real life, I want fewer kids and a spouse with a job.”

Time to start planning for a further education, students! Let’s plan for how we can be stewards of God’s time and money.