Real Money. Real World. (RMRW) is a financial literacy program for young adolescents created and facilitated by the Ohio State University Extension. The program is designed to work with youth ages 12 – 18 but ideally suited for teens ages 13-16. This curriculum is time tested and has been highly successful because of the community efforts of Ohio State University Extension educators, local school teachers, and community volunteers. Real Money. Real World. is a fun and distinctive program because it includes an interactive spending simulation that provides students the opportunity to make realistic lifestyle and budget choices similar to those made by adults. As a program of the Ohio State University Extension, the most preferred and successful RMRW programs are partnerships of the county OSU Extension office, the school, and the business community.
RMRW has three segments: Four preparatory classroom lessons; a hands-on budget management and decision-making spending simulation and a post-session evaluation of spending choices made during the simulation. During the actual hands-on budget and spending simulation, students have a pre-determined occupation, salary and family size. During a 90 minute period, the students visit all thirteen RMRW booths to choose necessities for their family. The booths include: housing, transportation, clothing, food, child care, entertainment, life “chance”, utilities and more with booth volunteers helping students make the best decision based on their needs. The post-session discussion is critical to debrief the students and drive home the program’s message: what you do today in school impacts your career opportunities which impact your future lifestyle.
The State Treasurer’s Office (TOS) continues to champion the use and expansion of RMRW in Ohio Schools. Ohio Treasurer, Josh Mandel, gave recognition to the participating schools and their coordinators, as well as the Geauga County Ohio State Extension office RMRW team members for outstanding commitment to the advancement of financial education. Support from local agencies and businesses including: Geauga Credit Union, Home Savings Bank, United Way of Geauga County, Geauga County Mental Health and Recovery Board, Ravenwood Mental Health Center, OSU Extension Master Gardeners, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Job and Family Services has made RMRW a successful financial literacy program in our community. Volunteer training video
This year, OSU Extension presented RMRW at Berkshire Junior-Senior High School, Cardinal Middle School, Gaitway High School and St. Anselm School. For more information or to inquire about volunteering please contact the OSU Extension office at 440-834-4656.