The UMSL Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Education offers a two-hour experiential learning program for high schools students based on Mad City Money, a hands-on financial simulation developed by the Credit Union National Association. Students develop financial skills by getting a taste of the real world as they take on the role of an adult – complete with occupation, salary, family, student loan and credit card debts, and medical insurance payments. The challenge is for students to select housing, transportation, food, household necessities, clothing, day care, and other wants and needs, while creating and following a realistic budget. Students must also make payments on any debts they owe and decide how much to save. Students discover what it is like to budget for monthly expenses, manage debt and save for the future. Mad City Money provides realistic examples that highlight the connection between the decisions students make and the economic consequences of those decisions and the link between education and lifelong earning potential. Community volunteers, often from local credit unions, serve as merchants during the simulation.

Mad City Money is approved as a financial education resource for students by the Jump$tart Coalition Clearinghouse, based on the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education. Support for the Mad City Money Financial Reality Simulation comes in part from the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation.

The Mad City Money Financial Reality Simulation can be offered any time during the year. If you are interested in hosting a Mad City Money Financial Reality Simulation at your school, please contact the center at econed@umsl.edu or (314) 516-5248 for more information.