July 2017 | By Drew Haskins
For the second year, UCF has been the proud host of the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida’s Reality Check event. Made possible through a Boys & Girls Club partnership with Wells Fargo, the event mission is to educate young adults about making sound financial decisions and preparing them for independence as they plan their future adult lives.
Most of the adult volunteers say they wish something like this had been offered when they were young.
After a morning of financial literacy workshops, the students are provided a pay check that tells them what they do for a living, how much they make, what their taxes are, how many children they have, and other information. A vendor city is set up for them where they have to purchase essentials (such as housing and food), optional life decisions (such as pets and recreation). Intentional guidance is given on planning savings around expenditures. There is even a mandatory stop at “life’s unexpected events” where students have to react financially to a sick family member, car trouble, or other challenge. And of course, as part of their immersion on our campus, planning for financing college is woven into the experience.
During the event, Boys & Girls Club members can be heard saying “I never knew my parents sacrificed so much so that I could have (some luxury)” or “Insurance costs what?”. They come away from Reality Check with a greater understanding of the cost of living and the importance of intentional spending and saving.