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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


This curriculum is designed to be given by middle school teachers, and meets the new Ohio Core requirements for financial literacy.

Real Money, Real World is a financial education curriculum for youth that simulates real-life experiences.  The program provides students a "trial run" experience with adult spending decisions and helps youth become aware how expenses for necessities, as well as luxuries, must be balanced with the reality of a monthly income.

A simulation provides the students an opportunity to use a monthly "paycheck" to purchase goods and services. Local business professionals, school officials and Extension professionals set up booths for this simulation. These booths provide a variety of services such as housing, groceries, transportation, child care, utilities, etc.  Students are assigned a career based on their educational aspirations and given a marital status, and number of children. A "chance" booth deals students real "life" twists, such as 'visit a dentist and pay $75' or 'your pet needs to visit the vet, deduct $40'.

One of the goals of Real Money, Real World is to teach students the importance of planning ahead and help them realize how educational and career aspirations will impact them in their future. Learning these financial skills will also help them become productive and successful members of society.

If you are interested in teaching Real Money, Real World in your classroom, or have more questions, please contact us at 419-627-7631.