Bright Local eighth grade teachers and the school’s guidance department partnered with OSU Extension Educators Kathy Bruynis and Danielle Combs to teach the Real World, Real Money curriculum and hold the Real Money, Real World Simulation the last week of January.
Real Money, Real World, is a program offered through OSU Extension. It is an active, hands-on experience that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those they will make as adults. They study how occupations will affect their income; learn about payroll deductions by their employers, how to use a savings and checking account, and how to make life choices.
The students assume the role of a 27-year-old adult who is married to Chris. They receive an occupation, monthly salary, and the number of children (if any) in their family. At the end of the classroom lessons the students complete a real-life simulation. During the simulation students interacted with local businesses where they would spend their salaries on “real life” budget items including housing, utilities, groceries, insurance, childcare and transportation. Throughout this activity, students kept track of their finances and attempted to complete the simulation with a positive balance.
Students learn what they can afford and what they cannot afford on their income.
Some of the comments from the students were: “I didn’t realize it is all about the wants,” “ You run out of money fast,” “ How difficult it is to have nice stuff” and “How much food and child care really cost.”
Local community representatives included: Community volunteers, 4-H volunteers, Southern Hills Community Bank, NCB Bank, Merchant’s National Bank, First State Bank, Amatha Farrens State Farm Insurance, and OSU Extension – Fayette, Ross and Scioto counties.
Submitted by Kathy Bruynis, OSU Extension educator, 4-H youth development, Highland County Extension area leader, Area 22.