Financial Reality Fair

Welcome to the Financial Reality Fair!

We hope you enjoy this activity. You have selected your career and a salary that you can reasonably expect to earn within the first 5 years, as well as a student loan payment (if applicable).


Oh no! You have to start from scratch!

You’ll need to find housing, food, transportation, clothing, insurance, phone plan… the list goes on! Don’t worry, we’ve put together booths that will help you select your best options.

Each booth is manned by volunteers who are eager to answer questions you may have and help guide your purchases. If you need additional help, several volunteers are out and about who can help you — just look for the people in plaid!

Download a PDF version of this guide, or keep scrolling to read.


Chapter 1

Are you ready to adult?

Choose a career and salary from the attached list:

Career and Salary List


Occupation Amount Calculated

Tax Brackets (based on Annual Salary)

Find your salary range and take out taxes: Multiply your gross annual salary by the % and enter the amount on the line

Tax Bracket Tax Percentage Gross Annual Salary
$9,525 - $38,700 12%
$38,700 - $82,500 22%
$82,500-$157,000 24%
$157,000-$200,000 32%
$200,000-$500,000 35%

Net Pay

Gross Pay - Taxes = Yearly Take Home Pay After Taxes
- =


Monthly Income (this is your net pay divided by 12)
Student Loan Credit Score What is your monthly savings goal?

Chapter 2


Roomate? Apartment or House
Description Expenses
Savings for a house?
Household Care Items
Housing Total

Chapter 3


Description Expenses
Auto Loan Payment
Other Transportation
Transportation Total

Chapter 4


Description Expenses
Insurance Total

Chapter 5


Description Expenses
Eating Out


Food Total

Chapter 6


Clothing Total

Chapter 7


Description Expenses
Cell Phone + Data Plan
Electronics Total

Chapter 8

Personal Care

Description Expenses
Gym Membership
Personal Care Total

Chapter 9


Description Expenses
Sporting Events
Video Games
Entertainment Total

Chapter 10

Wheel of Reality



Spin the wheel and enter the dollar value below. If you got something that spends more of your money ADD it to your total expenses. If you received extra money, SUBTRACT it from your total expenses.

Wheel of Reality Amount
Student Loan $ (If Applicable)

Add the totals from each booth, your Wheel of Reality amount, and student loan payment, if applicable, to get your total monthly expenses. Place that amount in the chart below

Total Monthly Expenses $
Total Monthly Income - Total Monthly Expenses = Your Money
- =
Did you meet your savings goal?

We hope that this activity will be a good example to use as you create a real-life budget for yourself.

  • If you have extra money leftover beyond your savings goal, what could you do with it?
  • If you were not successful, what could you do differently to achieve a better result?
  • What are some things you could be saving for right now?
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