Many Valley residents know it isn't easy or cheap when it comes to raising children or paying a mortgage.
On Tuesday, students at Harrisonburg High School learned valuable lessons when it comes to being smart with money.
The Reality Store event gave students a career with a fixed income.
With that salary, they had to pay for more than 15 expenses, such as child care and insurance.
Cristin Sprenger, who helped organize the event, says it taught students how expensive everyday life is.
For those who participated, it was an eye-opening experience.
"I feel as if high school kids are brought up by their parents, so they really don't have any budget," explains Mark Mullenex, a senior at Harrisonburg High. "It gives the students a better understanding of how real life works and how they're supposed to budget their money."
"High schoolers don't know what's ahead of them, and they're making plans right now for the future. They need to be more aware," adds sophomore Margaret King.
According to Sprenger, starting next fall, students will be required to complete an economic and personal finance class before they graduate.
She says the class will make sure students know how to properly budget their money.