On March 14th the senior class participated in a budget activity put on by volunteers from Olean Federal Credit Union. Mad City Money is the name of the activity, and it shows students real-life budgeting skills at work.
Students pick a lanyard that tells their job, income, and family status. Then they work through the budget sheets by visiting the tables for each section (food, transportation, housing, clothes, child care, home items, and fun things). Once each student makes their selections at the tables, they have to see how the numbers come out on the budget sheets. They may have to make some returns, or take out a loan from the credit union. There are a lot of decisions and calculating that goes into this process.
The goal of the game is to take care of all the basic necessities, keep paying down debt, and have money in savings. Adults already know this is tricky to do. For students getting ready to graduate, this experience helped them to see the careful thought that should go into all the decisions that will be coming their way.
Overall, the kids thought this was an important activity and learned something from it. We plan to run this activity again next year. Mrs. Packard’s Economics/Government class did this for a project grade.
Thank you to Abbey Bowser and the other volunteers from Olean Federal Credit Union for putting this on for our students.