Update: you can get my updated packet here and the new virtual pack here.
Reality Day- The New Career Day
1. Reality Day allows students to research careers they are interested in beforehand and live out their dreams on career day.
2. Students get a yearly salary based on the median salary of their selected careers. They must figure out how to break down into a monthly net pay.
On each log sheet I have helped them break down their taxes and pay. It’s important to review with them what number they start from. They then get to spend their money at the various stations I have set up: housing, car, child care, education, hair care, crystal ball, etc.
3. Plan for Reality Day to last for half a day.
You need at least an hour and a half minimum for the students to complete the event. This is an event you can do in elementary through high school age.
4. Parent and local volunteers really help make this day a success.
5. You can either do an interest inventory before hand let students pick their jobs or randomly assign.
1. I added pet care.
Students are always begging for pets so I let them choose a pet. Although a pet is not necessary, if students choose to get one they can’t get rid of it.
2. I allowed some students to get roommates.
The students that showed they could make good financial decisions and yet still went bankrupt were allowed to pair up as roommates and cut their bills in half.
3. Next year I will am considering adding in spouses.
. In the years past I have told students they need to imagine they are the head of the household, thus have to pay for everything. However, I have many many many students beg for an imaginary spouse so I am considering adding on a spouse. To do this I would simply add their spouse to the total income at the top of their log sheet. I would assign their spouse’s job and salary- my kids love to debate so I have to set firm limits with them.
What the students are saying:
“I liked it when I was talking to the people behind the booths there because they were very kind and helpful and I like how I got to see all the things I would be doing in reality… I also like how we got all the goodies :)”
“My favorite part was how I could see that my parents worked hard and I would realize I should thank them more.”
“(I liked) Learning how to use money wisely.”
“I liked learning what life would be like when I grew up, it was really fun and a good learning experience.
“I learned to never gamble because I was doing good and about finished with the activities (in my $3,000) until I reached the crystal ball.”
“That the real world is really mean, and I probably shouldn’t, own a farm and have 2 kids.”
“I learned how to budget myself, how easy it is to go bankrupt, and in the future, to make my husband pay for himself and the kids.”
“I learned that the cheapest things aren’t always the worst.”
“I learned that when I ask my mom for something everyday, she might run out of money. I know now to be more cautious with my money.”
“That life is hard!!! Money can be scarce!”
“That being an adult IS NOT EASY AT ALL!!! Its a lot of money to be spending!”
“THAT BEING AN ADULT IS NOT AS EASY AS IT LOOKS!”
What the students loved and hated:
-‘that you need to know the plan you have and make it good”