Mad City Money

Mad City Money™ gives youth a taste of the real world – complete with occupation, salary, spouse, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments. This product is offered in two formats: a two hour hands-on simulation or a workshop designed for classroom delivery. 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.

High school students take on the role of an adult in futuristic Mad City. They’re given jobs, income, a family, and debt. The challenge? Visit merchants to select housing, transportation, food, household necessities, clothing, day care, and other wants and needs while building a budget. The credit union has an office in town, too. Mad City Money compels participants to do the math (a proven technique to teaching financial education).

They make mistakes – and suffer the consequences of their decisions – in a realistic, but safe, environment. Most participants are surprised to learn “I can’t have a big house and a new truck on my salary and still pay for day care and groceries.″ Once the shock wears off, they reevaluate choices and manage their money effectively.