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Money Matters Blog

Friday, April 19, 2019

School Spotlight: West Students Learn Budgeting Basics

LME students rotate to different stations to choose their
life essentials 
(food, clothing, transportation, etc.).
Students at West Middle School in Plymouth are learning budgeting basics! Students in the 7th and 8th grade Life Management Education (LME) course participate in Mad City Money, a reality simulation designed to engage students in making money-smart adult choices.

Students begin Mad City Money by choosing a profession with a set salary. After they learn about credit card debt, student loan payments, and setting a monthly budget, they are tasked to choose their transportation, housing, child care, home essentials, food, clothing, etc. The goal is for students to build a monthly budget with $100 left in their checking account. Here are some pictures of West Middle School 7th and 8th grade LME students participating in Mad City Money.

Community Financial staff and parent volunteers
assist students at each station.
Community Financial staff and parent volunteers
assist students at each station.
A student works on the final copy of her monthly budget.
Will she have $100 left?
Sixth grade students at West Middle School also participated in a budgeting simulation. Students enjoyed a grade-wide activity that demonstrated the importance of setting a budget using Skittles® as their “money.”

Education Partnership Coordinator, Julie Blaylock, instructs 6th
grade students about what a balanced budget looks like.
Students figuring out if their budget is balanced…
will they need to eat some Skittles® to balance?

Budgeting as Adults
There are multiple decisions to consider in creating a budget as an adult. Luckily, through simulations like the ones shown above, students learn the basics in how to make money-smart choices at an early age. Adults, however, often navigate the world of credit cards, debt, loans etc. on their own with very little knowledge and/or practice in how to manage it. The resources listed below can help. Check them out to find support with budgeting and other finances:

Community Financial Money Matter$ eLearning Center
Community Financial - Financial Resource Center
Smart About Money Resources

Your Turn: Which financial resources do you find the most helpful in constructing a budget?

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