KILLEEN, Texas — It was an eye-opening experience for some Central Texas students who got a hands-on learning experience about life, bills, and how to manage their money.

“Like child management, daycare, unexpected cost,” Harker Heights senior Saniya Keeton said. “You don’t know what tomorrow will bring." 

Students in Killeen participated in a budgeting simulation on Saturday where they were given an income, medical insurance copay, and even some debt. With all that information, they were asked to make purchases like adults do.

"And the best thing about it is they have this environment that is safe where they have an opportunity to make mistakes they can then learn from and improve when they have to make decisions in the real world," said Priscilla Olvera of A+ Federal Credit Union. 

The goal is to keep the students from developing bad money habits and bad credit. 

"Once they get out of high school and out of college, real life is going to hit them in the face,” said Mina Hill, President of the Mu Tau Sigma Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority, Incorporated. “If they don’t understand money now, they won’t understand money then." 

The event was hosted by A+ Federal Credit Union, Mu Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Mu Tau Sigma Alumnae Chapter Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, and Kappa Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. 

"We have targets that focus on kids that not only teaches them about money habits but good education,” said Melanie Jones, President of Mu Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. “We give them scholarships and we encourage them to continue their education and be productive citizens." 

Students said they can appreciate getting a glimpse into the real world.

"I see what my mom has to go through as a single parent, so I understand how she's feeling now," Keeton said.

The event was sponsored by MOD Pizza, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Jersey Mike’s, Bush Chicken and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers.

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