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Carla is at a crossroads. She's in dire financial straits and seriously considering leaving her husband of 20 years. A group of her friends has invited her to vacation with them at the annual revival of a megachurch south of where she lives, and Carla desperately wants to go with them to have a chance to think and pray, but she needs at least $400 for the trip, and her options are once again asking for a loan from one of the families she cleans for (which she's embarrassed to do) or getting a loan from a payday lender. Wondering what she might do to make more money and reduce her expenses, Carla begins talking to the people in her life about creating a budget.
This case is meant to be used as an exam case in a non-MBA course on financial literacy. Students will complete a budget for Carla based on what they understand about her situation and make decisions about her long-term financial outlook, including whether she should go on vacation.