(WEAU) - Nearly 500 local high school students got to experience life on their own Wednesday.
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce and the Eau Claire School District hold the Real Life Academy to show teens real life expenses, and teach them responsible money management skills.
Teens say it can be eye-opening and a challenge to stay on budget. Alex Castro, who attends Regis High School, said "we picked how much we would spend like what kind of car we wanted stuff like that…pick an apartment and we would go through the different expenses at every station." While Regis High School student Ben Wislinsky told us "I thought it was pretty challenging keeping a checkbook record and pay for everything just using the money you were given."
Two academies are held each year, in the fall and the spring and about 700 students go through the two events.