The Mad City Money Financial Reality Simulation is a two-hour experiential learning program for high schools students based on Mad City Money, a hands-on financial simulation developed by the Credit Union National Association. Students develop financial skills by getting a taste of the real world as they take on the role of an adult – complete with occupation, salary, family, student loan and credit card debts, and medical insurance payments. The challenge is for students to create a realistic budget while selecting housing, transportation, food, household necessities, clothing, day care, and other wants and needs. Students must also make payments on any debts they owe and decide how much to save. Students discover what it is like to budget for monthly expenses, manage debt and save for the future. Mad City Money provides realistic examples that highlight the connection between the decisions students make and the economic consequences of those decisions and the link between education and lifelong earning potential. Community volunteers, often from local financial institutions, serve as merchants during the simulation. Mad City Money is approved as a financial education resource for students by the Jump$tart Coalition Clearinghouse, based on the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education.
The Mad City Money Financial Reality Simulation is offered free to participating schools. It can be done in approximately two hours and can accommodate a wide number of students. Multiple sessions are possible for larger audiences. It takes place on site at participating schools, increasing flexibility and reducing costs for schools. Schools choose which students participate. It is a great fit for students in personal finance, consumer math, business, and other subjects or for seniors preparing for life after graduation. It can be offered any time during the year to best fit a school’s schedule.
Evaluations from participating students strongly indicate the program is effective in educating students and increasing their desire to practice wise money management.
For information about the Mad City Money Financial Reality Simulation, contact EEC@lindenwood.edu.