After finishing her round in the Reality Store, 14-year-old Bailey Pell had a greater appreciation for what her parents do on a monthly basis.
"I learned how hard it must be, what it would be to be an adult," Pell told The Brazil Times.
Pell, along with the rest of the North Clay Middle School eighth-graders, took part in the Clay Business Women-sponsored Reality Store Monday.
There were a total of 15 stations in the exercise, which is now in its 17th year of existence.
"It's a reality check," Clay Business Women representative Sharon Wilkinson said. "They don't see what their parents go through."
Each student was given a job and a monthly salary. They were also appointed a family status.
For example, Pell was an engineer who made approximately $5,000 per month. She had no children.
Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton was also on hand for the event. He said after the students are given their family status, job and monthly salary, "Uncle Sam" automatically takes out his share.
The students then go from station to station, either losing more money through monthly expenses or gaining money.
"It gives (the students) a sense of what they have to look forward too," Heaton said. "It's not just fun and games."
Wilkinson said all the students start out as 28-year-olds and move from there.
"They have to make ends meet," she said. "This gives them a sense of what they're looking at when they are on their own."
After each student completes all 15 stations, they are asked to fill out an evaluation form.
"We get a lot of positive feedback," Wilkinson said.
As for Pell? She finished the stations with $1,204 left.
"Now I understand what (adults) feel like," she said.