Credit union Financial

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Credit union Financial

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Credit union Financial Simulation for Students

Jeff Hardin Director of Cooperative Initiatives


Teens and Money

Teens expect their average starting salary in the profession of their choice to be $73,000.

84% of teens own cell phones, while only 52% have a savings account.

86% of teens say they would rather learn about money management in a class before making mistakes in the real world.

2011 Teens and Money Survey, © Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., All rights reserved.


The Development

Created by the

Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs) of the

Carolinas, t

he Reality of Money is

an interactive financial education simulation designed for students in grades 8 - 12.

The CUDE grou

p envisioned these outcomes:

A free, turnkey financial education resource.

A powerful educational experience for students.

Enhanced cooperation among credit unions.

Greater visibility for credit unions.


The Concept

In a group

setting, each

student is given the profile of a wage earning, bill paying, financially responsible young adult.

A variety of life situations is included.

Each student moves through a series of stations where they make spending decisions based on their income.

Each student is given a “credit rating” and sees the impact of good & bad credit scores in purchasing decisions.


The Learning Outcomes

Importance of maintaining a good credit rating.

Learning to live below your means.

Learning how to develop a budget.

Importance of


Life choices matter, now and in the future!


Credit Union’s Role

Select volunteer

coordinator to

systematically implement

Reality of Money timeline.

Coordinate with school/community group.

Share details with the media.

Recruit volunteers.

Facilitate pre-simulation orientation and post-assessment/discussion.

Report event to the League.


Sample Student Profile


The Profile

OccupationIncomeLevel of educationMarital statusNumber of children (if any)Student loan payment (if applicable)Credit rating (good or bad)


The Life Choices

HousingTransportationFoodCommunicationsHealth insuranceClothingEntertainment“Stuff happens”


Sample Life Choices


Sample Life Choices


Sample Life Choices


Sample Life Choices


Reality of Money Pilot

FBLA Conference

Greensboro, NCMarch 2013


Reality of Money Pilot

FBLA Conference

Greensboro, NC

March 2013


What They Learned …

“I learned that I definitely want to go to college. I also know that it’s okay to get cheaper things, just so you don’t go into debt


I learned bigger isn’t always better


It’s hard to pay for simple things, like groceries, if you spend too much on unnecessary things, like entertainment!”


What They Learned …

“I learned that it is hard to grow up and now I know how mom feels and I will not ask for so much anymore”

“Children are painful and money problems can be stressful.”


Credit union Financial Simulation for Students

Jeff Hardin Director of Cooperative Initiatives

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