On October 14, approximately 700 RCU employees will join forces to bring Bite of Reality financial programs to 15 high schools across Sonoma, Napa, and Marin counties. On this one day, RCU expects
to reach more than 3,000 high school juniors and seniors, preparing them for life through financial literacy.
A fun, interactive simulation where youth take an adult role for a day, Bite of Reality is always a big hit with the teens. Students are given a persona, complete with occupation, salary, debt, and insurance payments and are asked to make purchasing decisions
based on their assigned income. The teens visit several tables, “purchasing” housing, transportation, food, clothing, and other family necessities. And if they overspend, they can visit the credit union station to receive financial assistance.
The teens will come away from this event better able to make financial decisions and live within a budget. They’ll learn negotiation skills as they experience a mock car or home-buying session or they may find they need to take the bus! And they
will come up against wants versus needs as they face the realistic costs of utilities, childcare, and other expenses. There’s even a “Fickle Finger of Fate” that bestows unexpected expenses or windfalls—just like in real life.
Having long known that financial literacy is a vital life skill that every student has the right to learn, RCU has been running Bite of Reality programs since 2013. In doing so, RCU has learned that this form of interactive learning is a particularly
effective way to teach young people how to make wise money management decisions—decisions that will stick with them throughout their lives.