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Financial Education

Helping Consumers Navigate Their Financial Futures
Credit Unions Dare to Take a... Bite of Reality

Is your credit union looking for a way to teach youth financial literacy in a way that will make a real impression?


Then don’t give teens a typical budgeting lesson that will bore them to sleep—give them an interactive Bite of Reality! (click here for Bite of Reality flyer)

Click to view the Bite of Reality Video

Fun, Safe, and Interactive
Bite of Reality is a two-and-a-half-hour, hands-on simulation that appeals to teens while giving them a taste of real-world financial realities. Teens are given a fictional occupation, salary, spouse and family, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. The teens then walk around to various table-top stations to “purchase” housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care, and other needs. Fortunately, the game also includes a “credit union” to help with their financial needs.

This interactive activity will teach teens how to make financial decisions and give them a better understanding of the challenges of living on a budget. Teens will have to deal with a pushy “car salesperson” and a commission-based “realtor,” and weigh their wants versus their needs. There’s even a “Fickle Finger of Fate” that will give some of the students unexpected “expenses” or “windfalls”—just like in real life.

What are the benefits of Bite of Reality?

  • Teaches basic money management in a safe, fun setting
  • Simulates everyday financial challenges and situations
  • Introduces the next generation to the benefits of credit unions
  • Helps you build relationships with schools, educators, and parents in your communities
  • The RMJ Foundation will provide all the materials needed for the program at no cost to you
  • Free to the students

How can my chapter or credit union participate?
Contact the RMJ Foundation, which will supply:

  • A California and Nevada Youth Involvement Network (CNYIN) board member to help you organize and deliver the event
  • Materials for both participants and merchants
  • Training materials for merchants
  • Pre-work options that you can mail or e-mail to participants
  • Certificates of completion
  • Evaluation forms
  • Customizable marketing pieces for you to print and distribute including invitation letters, promotional articles, and a poster
  • All the supplies needed for the event
  • On-site support on the day of your event

What does my chapter or credit union need to put on a Bite of Reality event?

  • 20 adult volunteers to staff the session, including 10–15 adults to play the role of various merchants (30-day lead time is recommended)
  • 2 hours of on-site preparation on the day of the event
  • 2.5 hours for simulation and debrief
  • 50+ teens (target is grades 8–12)
  • A facilitator
  • Pre-work for participants on balancing a check/ debit card register

Bite of Reality is offered exclusively to credit unions by the RMJ Foundation. Events similar to Bite of Reality have received positive feedback from teens, schools, and credit unions throughout California and Nevada!