Bite of Reality


RMJ Foundation

Seniors participated in a bite of reality economic simulation.

Mabel Ra, Editor

On Thursday, May 23, 2019, Yorba Linda High School seniors experienced a bite of reality in the realm of dealing with real-life economics. Economics and government teachers, Mr. Lejano, Mr. Walls, Mr. Honig, in addition to others, were among the many staff members that helped this day become a reality.


The Bite of Reality is a financial literacy workshop created by the Richard Myles Johnson foundation. It is composed of an interactive app that simulates a different situation for each student. Students are randomly given a certain career, income, spouse, child, and debts, such as credit card debt or student loan debt. These are all realistic factors that students in the future are likely to relate to; each student was assigned a different persona, so their pay-making decisions definitely varied according to how much they could afford.


The simulation was held in the small practice gym, and several vendors were stationed at individual tables for each category. Students were expected to attend each station and select their options from a variety of choices and costs. After having discussions with the marketing businesses, they had to make realistic decisions based off of their personal preferences (food, clothing, physical maintenance), financial situation, and parental status. Much like in real life, the businesses pitched their products aggressively or persuasively, tempting students to opt for the more costly choices.


Using an app on their phones, students would input each code for the item they purchased to keep track of how much money they had left. Thus, their following actions would be dependent on the amount of money they had left. Furthermore, the app simulated random “Fickle Finger of Fates” that either gave the student a positive situation in which they gained more money or a negative one in which they lost money. This fickle fate relates to real-life, because even in regular lives, random events occur that can change one’s financial situation– a raise in income or a repair for the car.


This activity lasted for a few periods, but the lessons learned would affect students for the rest of their life as they make important decisions, including when they buy their first car, live in their first home, have their first child, and simply live for the first time on their own. These expenses are real and costly, so this simulation meant to guide seniors as they continue their next step is immensely beneficial. For instance, Jessica Gutierrez (12) learned this valuable money-saving fact: Don’t spend beyond what you have, otherwise the debt consumes your ability to spend.”