GALLIPOLIS — Financial education is essential when preparing students to become responsible young adults. Through their partnership with the Gallia Academy High School Afterschool Program (ASSET), OVB recently held an interactive budgeting event for participating students.
With the help of the Gallia 4-H Extension Office, the event, “Real Money Real World,” taught students the importance of budgeting and money management. “Real Money Real World” is a youth-focused financial literacy program from Ohio State University Extension. According to OSU, the program reaches ages 12-18, but is ideally suited for youth ages 13-16. Using an interactive format, “Real Money Real World” is a spending simulation that provides the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those made by adults.
“Real Money Real World’s” three primary goals are as follows:
Increase participants’ awareness of how education level and corresponding career choice influence personal income and financial security.
Increase participants’ knowledge of money management tools used in daily spending for cost-of-living decisions.
Increase participants’ awareness of how income and lifestyle choices affect the amount of money available for discretionary spending.
GAHS students achieved the program’s goals as they all finished the simulation with what organizers described as “great success and a better view of how education, income, and family situation can affect our lifestyles.” The different booths students were required to visit included housing, transportation, credit, student loans, food, clothing, entertainment, child care, communications, and financial advice. Students also visited a philanthropy booth that stressed the importance of giving back through means, such as volunteer work.
OVB Vice President, Corporate Communications Bryna Butler said she enjoyed volunteering at the event.
“Programs like these help students better grasp the very real decisions they will have to make one day and the consequences of those decisions,” Butler said. “As you can imagine, it’s quite a wake-up call for some when they see that they may not be able to afford the nicest cell phone or the biggest house even with a good job. Many don’t think about how one decision affects another; like buying a new sports car will raise your insurance expense too. The great thing about ‘Real Money Real World’ is that it forces them to really think through what it takes to manage money as an adult.”
“’Real Money Real World’ is an eye-opening experience for these students,” OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush said. “It’s good to show them how interest can affect their student loans or credit payments. I truly believe that the simulation-style of this event is the best way to get kids to connect with how money management truly can be as an adult. I am very thankful Tracy Winters and Tiffany Riehm from the Gallia Extension Office took the time out of their busy schedules to bring this program to the students of Gallia Academy’s afterschool program.”
To schedule a financial education event at your school or group, contact Roush at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information submitted by Ohio Valley Bank.