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Students learn what it takes to be ‘on their own’

By Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:23 PM

Some students at Lebanon High School got a taste of what it’s like to be “on their own” Thursday as part of a financial simulation.

The University of Tennessee Extension Office presents the On My Own program each year at area schools. It includes giving each student an occupation with a monthly income and allows them to see just how far that money will go.

“It used to be called ‘Reality Check,’” said UT Extension Agent Marietta Sanford. “Not everyone gets the same scenario. They have to try to make it a month on their own and hopefully come out with a positive balance.”

UT Extension Agent Shelly Barnes added that the occupations students were given “would be representative of jobs you would find in Wilson County.”

Jobs included various aspects of agriculture, construction and others. Other items factored in the simulation included whether a student was married or had children.

The experienced proved to be eye-opening for the students participating.

“I learned that it’s quite more expensive to purchase things than I thought,” said Dylan Finch, one of the participating students. “Now I kind of know how much my parents pay for things.”

Fellow participant Thy-Shaun Foster, who was portraying a construction worker as and single father of two, said he ended his month $811 in debt. He said the experience told him he’d want to find a different career path.

“I’ll be single and doing my own thing,” said Foster.

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