Mad City event teaches students about budgeting

By Skylar Fondren

Staff Writer

The Northeast Texas Credit Union recently partnered with Northeast Texas Community College to host a Mad City Reality Fair simulation in the Student Union Building. 

Students started out with a budget and went through the simulation, investing in things such as cars, housing, child care, internet services, and more, with the goal to stay within their budget. This was meant to teach students the importance of prioritizing their wants versus their needs. 

“After I added it all together I realized I’d be dead, I’d be broke, you know?” NTCC art student Erik Garcia said. “I’m not as ready as I thought I’d be.” 

NTCC hosts this event during the fall and summer semesters. Linda Forest, NTCC financial literacy coach said that the event originally got started after a conversation with a staff member who had been to a reality fair in high school. After reaching, NETCU agreed to help to bring the Reality Fair to NTCC. 

Forest said that even the best students can still struggle with budgeting.

“Some students have a hard time imagining and understanding how to budget their money,” Forest said. “This gives them real-life situations and costs to help them plan better.”

The goal of the simulation was to get students to think about what is important. Victor Arreola, NTCC student, said it helped him to determine that he was not ready to make a big purchase.

“I’m thinking about everything that I have to pay for in the grand scheme of things. Seeing it in your face, seeing all the numbers one by one, it’s a shock,” Arreola said.

For more information contact Forest at