By: Charlene Fadirepo
The event was sponsored by the Jump$tart Coalition and the University of Maryland Extension https://extension.umd.edu/prince-georges-county/personal-finance. I think there were about 50 or so kids and parents there –and the simulation was a real success. Each child began the exercise by receiving their family situation which detail their income, marital status, age, and household size. Then each child had to progress thru each of the eight stations which represented “Real Life” scenarios. The kids had to purchase cell phones, pay parking tickets and shop for clothes all based on the their family’s monthly income. I manned the “Chance” tab –where kids had a pick a card to determine their which random life situation they would be impacted by! The kids really enjoyed the experience –and so did I.
But mostly importantly –the experience helped to encourage strong positive money behaviors –like choosing between needs and wants, and balancing your check book. One of the kids that participated in the simulation said that “budgeting was hard” –another kid said she “wished she had more money”.
How wonderful it would be if all children could learn these lessons EARLY before they make costly money mistakes.