Emma Barnett has a desire to be a speech pathologist.
But on Monday, the two North Clay Middle School eighth-graders saw their career paths take a turn during the 18th Clay County Business Women's Club Reality Store.
The event sets up 15 stations to help the students work through one month as adults.
"It's a great opportunity for (the students) to learn about budget decisions," Clay County Business Women's Club President Kathy Deal said.
Some of the stations include family choices, banking, taxes, housing, utilities, child care, medical insurance, transportation, second jobs, entertainment/furniture decorations, legal, clothing/charitable contributions, last chance, end of month balance and financial future planning.
"We have made some changes over the years," Deal said. "We still make modifications as students and the school provide input."
The idea behind the event is to help the students learn how to budget on a regular basis.
During the exercise Monday, Barnett was a teacher while Beil worked in fire and law enforcement.
For Beil, 14, the experience was worthwhile.
"I came out pretty even," Beil said of his final monthly budget. "I think I did pretty good with my spending choices.
"I think this teaches kids about money and (the importance of) taking care of family."
While going through the exercise, Barnett, also 14, was a teacher with no children. She ended the event with a balance of $249 in her bank account.
"Some of (her fellow students) went in the negative," Barnett said. "Others had $600 left. It was crazy."
Barnett echoed Beil's sentiments regarding the event.
"This gives you a good sense of where you are financially," she said. "It was a good learning experience. It's a dose of reality."