"Reality Store" helps students succeed in the game of life

MILWAUKEE -- Succeeding in the game of life. That's exactly what dozens of high school students in Milwaukee are learning as part of "The Reality Store" at Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

Some 150 students from Wisconsin Lutheran are taking part in "The Reality Store" in which they make their way through a series of life-event stations. That includes everything from paying for a mortgage, to buying a car and insurance, to learning how to manage money as responsible adults.

"We recognize that kids come out of college and start their adult lives in more debt than any group of kids in our country. So we're trying to give them some training, some budgeting, and spending within your means," Jason Goede, WLHS Business Education Coordinator said.

Students are asked to pay a month's worth of bills -- and keep a positive balance in the end. The teens learn early on, costs really add up. "I was really surprised with daycare. It was a lot of money! I'm going to need a few extra years before I move out on my own. It's a lot of money, and it's a big responsibility," student Melissa Struck said. "Just shows you how you have to budget during real life situations and you can't always have what you want," student William Reid said.

This is the sixth year Wisconsin Lutheran has hosted "The Reality Store" day for its juniors and seniors.