Monday, September 16, 2013

A Lesson in Financial Reality

Our curriculum includes strategies to avoid and manage financial hardships. For perspective, here is one of the lessons from my classroom. This post is not an elaboration about managing financial hardships, but rather an opportunity to share one of my favorite simulations.

I believe our students need to understand the financial reality of living in poverty because it doesn't matter how financially literate they are; if they do not make any real money they are choosing between bad choices and worse choices.

PlaySpent is a free online simulation that does an excellent job illustrating to students what it is like to try to get by while living in poverty. PlaySpent may not be able to replicate the decision fatigue that accompanies living in poverty, but it does illustrate the injustice of what it is like to be a member of the working poor.

After the kids play, I try to stress to my classes that the best investment they can ever make is an investment in themselves. After all, having a lot of money makes it a lot easier to make wise financial choices.