In the spring of each year, we bring financial education directly to juniors and seniors in a Louisiana public high school. We have used game show formats to deliver our Financial $marts topics. The first game, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire! focused on College Preparation. The second game, Money Jeopardy! focused on Smart Financial Management using categories: budgeting, goal setting, paycheck or savings strategies, credit and credit scores, and banking and financial services. The final game, Ask the Audience, focused on Financial Aid and College Planning.
Our new format involves a program called Mad City Money and is a simulation allowing the students to take on a new life with careers, spouses and even a list of children. The students walk through an hour-long simulation that gives them real life scenarios on financial decision making. They visit 10 different tables and complete their choice of items to fill in their budget including housing, transportation, groceries and dining, home goods, clothing, child care, the mall, entertainment and a financial institution to assist with making sound financial decisions. Students make comments like they didn’t realize how much it cost to buy a house, car or even groceries. They now understand why their parents deny them more expensive things sometimes. This exercise opens many students’ eyes to the reality faced by adults every day.