Last updated: August 24. 2013 7:55PM - 109 Views

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BATH TOWNSHIP — Katia Hardman’s son broke his arm: $200.Olivia Gessler’s broke the remote: $40.Seth Hanjora got busted for not having car insurance: $75.And Jovan Durr’s three children were a major drag in every way on his wallet.“Growing up is really hard,” said a glum Jovan, an eighth-grader at Bath Middle School.It was a glimpse of real life Tuesday as pupils took part in the “Real Money, Real World” program designed to teach pupils about money management.Pupils randomly drew careers, salaries and life circumstances. They had to pay for housing, utilities, child care, phone, food, clothing, transportation and entertainment. Before they even started spending, out came taxes, savings and retirement.“They go to each station and find out what costs would be,” said family and consumer science teacher Jennifer Brachok. “They might have to go back and get a used car, or do the same thing with housing.”The program, in its eighth year at the school, is sponsored by Allen County OSU Extension, Bath Parent Teacher Association, Superior Federal Credit Union and accountant Robert Sielschott. High school students will participate next week.A state mandate requires freshmen this year to take some kind of financial literacy course before graduating. Bath began the class last year.Leeanna McKamey, of the extension office, said the program shows pupils what their parents have to do to balance their budgets. “I don’t think at this point they really get how much it costs,” she said. “It gives them an idea of what they are going to have to go through.”Pupils quickly figured out it’s not easy.“I learned how scary it is to be grown up and that you need to really watch your money,” said Katia, who did pretty well with $600 left over after paying her monthly expenses. She wishes she would have purchased a house instead of renting.Others had little left. A few only had enough for a walk in the park for entertainment. Seth could only afford a $5 video rental after his $30,000 annual income took a hit from an unforeseen bank fee and $75 fine for not having car insurance.“It was going great until I ended up getting pulled over because of no insurance. I was on my way to get insurance, too,” said Seth, who had to cut back on food and take $200 from his $350 savings. “I learned that life can be hard if you really don’t keep wise of your money.”Unforeseen things popped up for everyone: a speeding ticket, a child breaking a window, a visit to the doctor.Jovan plans to start saving money now. Olivia might go a little easier on her parents next time she wants money.“You need to really pay attention to your money,” she said. “When your parents say, ‘No, you can’t have money,’ I kind of respect that now because I understand why.”You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.

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