Madison (WKOW) -- The school gym at La Follette High School on Madison's east side was full of travel agents, bankers, and car salesmen this week.
"I'm bankrupt," said student Tyler Ziegler. "I bought four things and my money is half gone."
Luckily, this was not for real.
It's part of the school's annual money smart simulation, a day of real-world responsibility in a fake school setting.
Students are assigned jobs, incomes, and families as they roam the gym buying things and borrowing money at different real-world "stations."
Teacher Donna Kennedy said it's the game's intent to teach kids at an early age about responsible investing, spending, and money habits.
"It mimics it pretty well," said adult volunteer Kenny Retzl, who sold cars.
Financial experts stress it's more important than ever for young people to learn about financial habits. 27 News just profiled a personal finance class at Wisconsin Dells High School that administrators now want to require for all students.
"It's teaching you that you can't buy everything with the money you need when you're older," said La Follette student Kijuan Smith. "It's a reality check for some people."
The simulation is also happening at dozens of other Wisconsin schools as part of Money Smart Week.
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