Giving Back to the community with Real Money, Real World.

Each spring as the school year winds down I get together with the wonderful people who work for the OSU Extension office for Scioto County to help out with the Real Money, Real World simulation they put on. I always go out to North West Middle School to volunteer my time with the Mohawk community.

What is Real Money, Real World? It is a great program where each student is assigned a realistic job where they are given a realistic salary for that line of work. They also have a spouse who contributes to the net household income. They then get to draw to see how many children they will have and if they have credit debt. So each student will have a unique experience. Once they get this base monthly salary they are set loose on the volunteer maned stations to spend their hard earned cash.

The stations are broken up and are basically want vs. need items. The students have to learn to budget. They have to have housing, transportation, food, clothing, child care, utilities, and insurance. They have choices within each of these categories based on what they have to have due to family size and budget. Then there are the wants such as entertainment, vacation, and pets.

It is so much fun to watch the cogs and wheels of these young minds turning when they learn all the expenses they will have as an adult. The surprise and shock they have when their balance is negative and they have to go back to the financial aid table for help when they thought they had so much money at the beginning of the lesson.

I feel so blessed to be a part of this project. It is fun and such a learning experience for the children as well as a refresher course for me. As an adult sometimes we forget just how hard it was starting out or if we are in a good place with a good job we forget what it is like to struggle to make ends meet. So this class and the ability to spend time with these youths helps to keep life in perspective. Sometimes it is all about the time you put in not the money.

If you are in the educational field and would like more information on this program you can contact me I would be happy to get you in touch with the wonderful people at our local OSU Extension office. If you have questions regarding insurance matters and ways to help you save money I would be glad to help you as always you can call 740-355-0888, facebook, or email

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Spring Break and Easter Holiday!

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