Learn to Get the Stuff You Want
You’ve just been transported into the future with your friends. Some of you have just graduated from college or technical school. You already have families of your own. You’ve just started your first full-time, professional job. You’re earning money and have bills to pay. Now you have to select housing, transportation, food, household necessities, clothing, day care, and other wants and needs. Lots of choices to make. Oh, and you need to build a budget based on your income and debt. Welcome to Mad City Money!
“If I buy an expensive car and house, I can’t afford clothes and food.”
That’s the lesson learned from one teenager who participated in Mad City Money, a simulation and financial boot camp for high school students that teaches basic money management in a safe, fun setting.
Face it a presentation on budgeting likely will put teens and young adults to sleep. Yet the 3 1/2 hour hands-on simulation appeals to teens (14-24) and gives them a taste of the real world complete with occupation, salary, spouse, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. Participants get an instant family and then move about the stations to purchase housing, transportation, food, clothing, household necessities, day care and other needs.
What’s included in the simulation? A mall for “wants,” a pushy car salesperson, a commission-based realtor, and the Fickle Finger of Fate. You guessed it life happens. And in addition to several other merchants, there’s a credit union for financial services.
Bottom line: Teens and young adults learn that erasers and calculators are important tools for creating a monthly budget. “I liked how I was able to learn about managing my money, sacrificing, and avoid being in debt,” said one teen. “I was able to avoid falling into the pressure of spending all my money. My choices can affect my life.”
“Many teens and young adults lack basic financial knowledge,” said Barry Nelson, president, and CEO of Travis Credit Union. “This lack of financial aptitude and overconfidence in financial matters does not bode well for the future. We want to be a part of the solution for our members and in the communities we serve.”
The financial boot camps are scheduled for Monday, June 12th, Tuesday, June 27thand Tuesday, July 11th from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Travis Credit Union’s Lieutenant General John F. Gonge Community Room, 1 Travis Way, Vacaville, CA 95687. To sign up for the Mad City Money Teen Financial Boot Camp website.
Refreshments, prizes and a drawing for an Apple Watch will be provided.