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Homer High School Seniors Learn Real-Life Money Management with MAD City Program

Homer High School seniors recently got a taste of real-world budgeting with the MAD City simulation, a hands-on financial exercise put on by Empower Federal Credit Union. This unique program allows students to experience what it's like to manage a monthly budget while facing the challenges life throws in the way.

Students started with an income and had to make smart choices about how to budget it across a variety of stations representing things like housing, transportation, food, or day care. Students used debit and credit for their purchases, while keeping track of their expenditures along the way.

"MAD City provides a crucial life lesson that teaches our seniors about handling money smartly,” Director of Counseling Audrey Fairchild said. “This is a fantastic way to show our seniors budgeting in a hands-on way.”

Throughout the simulation, both good and bad occurances were handed out to students for them to respond accordingly. Things like “locked my keys in my car” or “broke a window at my house” keeps students on their toes as they manage their budgets.

“I think I am going to be very surprised to see where I finish up,” Homer senior Sophia W. said. “This is a great way to apply what we’ve been learning in class to a real-life type of situation.”