Real Money Real World simulation held at Career Center | News, Sports, Jobs

Kyle Gutberlet, local business owner of Lowell’s Gutberlet Automotive Group, shares transportation costs with students at the recent OSU Extension Real Money Real World financial literacy simulation at the Washington County Career Center. (photo courtesy)

With the help of thousands of community volunteers stationed in 14 business booths, juniors at the Washington County Career Center recently participated in a real money real world simulation. Students chose a simulation career based on their current field of study at WCCC. They also used their monthly paychecks to visit different booths and chose spending based on their family circumstances, hoping that they would have enough money to make ends meet at the end of the month.

This program includes four classroom lessons to prepare students to assume the role of a 27-year-old adult who is the family’s primary source of income. Students learned to deduct savings, taxes, and other deductions from their monthly income. The remaining amount is the amount they spent during the simulation activity.

Students spent money at booths staffed by community volunteers on items typically included in their monthly budgets, such as housing, utilities, groceries, insurance, childcare, and transportation. Throughout the activity, students tracked their financial situation and attempted to complete the simulation with a positive balance.

The program is a product of OSU Extension and was organized for the school by 4-H Extension educator Bruce Zimmer in collaboration with WCCC teachers Webb and Ritzman.

In the post-simulation lesson, students reflected on their experience and what they had learned by conducting a self-assessment. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience, but were shocked at how difficult it was to meet their monthly budget. Many had a newfound respect for their parents and what they were dealing with on a daily basis. ‘Children are expensive’ “High cost of living” “Trust can be good or bad” When “Things cost a lot more than expected.”

Teachers can contact OSU Extensions at 740-376-7431 or email to learn more about how high schools offer real money, real world.

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