Children First: 8th graders take on real world budgeting - KOTA Territory News

Children First: 8th graders take on real world budgeting

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Call it 13 going on 25, a group of local middle school students get hurdled into adult life for a day.

The goal: a reality check about budgeting and being money smart before they enter the world.

"I'm a construction worker and I get $3,963 dollars a month," also known as Johnny Caruso, an 8th grade student at North Middle School.
 
"I'm in Education and I get $1,964 dollars a month," who also goes by Sara Feliz, an 8th grade student at North Middle School.
 
They both are now adults living on a budget.
 
"Not just buying what you want, but you need to buy things that you need," says Caruso.
 
And the things they need are really adding up.

"That's a lot more money, when you add everything together, than I thought it would be," says Caruso.
 
"You have to work hard and save money instead of spending it," says Feliz.
 
So these two are moving in together.
 
"I'm rooming with my friend and she's helping out with the bills and having an apartment. We're splitting the car bill," says Caruso.
 
Ways of budgeting and saving money that work for many of us in the real world.
And ways the two North Middle School students are learning through the program put on by Partnership Rapid City.

"They are issued a salary, and they get to go around to different stations to purchase their needs and wants to make sure they don't spend more than they take in," says Liz Hamburg, Director of Partnership Rapid City.
 
"They need groceries, they need furniture, they need insurance if they buy a car have a house," says Event Coordinator for Partnership Rapid City, Cindy Christianson.
 
Then there are those curve balls.
 
"They also get a real life event, and some are positive, and some aren't so positive," says Christianson.
 
"I have an eating disorder; I have to pay $120 a month for treatment," says Feliz.
 
"My life event is that I have a credit card bill, so that's like $100 a month," says Caruso.
 
These are lessons many of us can apply no matter what life holds for us.
 
"I'm pretty sure a lot of kids here, this will help them in the future," says Caruso.

Representatives with Partnership Rapid City say the scenario is perfect for students in eighth grade because their salary depends highly on the level of their education they draw, drawing a direct connection between school and real life.

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