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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Real Money, Real World is an active,hands-on simulation that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to what they need to make as adults. It is a partnership between the county, Ohio State University Extension, the school, and the business community.

Prior to the simulation, teachers and the OSU Extension Educator prepare students by going through four simple lessons: How Occupation Affects Income,What You See is Not What You Get (payroll deductions), How to Use Checking and Savings Accounts, and Making Real Money, Real World Choices.

For the simulation, students are assigned occupations with various salaries and required education Some occupations require only a high school education while others require a college degree. They are also assigned 1 or 2 children they have to provide for. It is assumed that they are 25 years old and the primary breadwinner.

Volunteers come from the community to run the various booths for the simulation, where students obtain housing, food, clothes, entertainment, etc. needed for their "family" while trying to live within their icome.

After the simulation, there is a discussion about the challenges they faced. Also emphasized is the importance of goal setting and making good life and career choices. Being more aware of this will optimally assist them in preparing for the quality of life they hope to achieve once they are adults.

Real Money, Real World is presented to interested Lake County schools by Lisa Siciliano-Miller, MSSA, LISW-S, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H Youth Development.