Native Village 
Youth and Education News

December  2012

Crazy Cash City’ Gives High Schoolers a Taste of Managing Money
Condensed by Native Village

New Mexico: “It was really fun! It helped me prepare for life in the real world.”

Nearly 200 high school students participated in First Nations Development Institute’s “Crazy Cash City” event in Gallup. The money-spending simulation game was a new pilot project for financial literacy. Students had to navigate though simulated financial tasks and challenges that teach budget and banking skills.

In Crazy Cash City, all players are given a fictitious family profile that include income(s), family members, outstanding debt, and benefits. Students then visit different booths for housing, transportation, child care and more, and are asked to make smart financial choices based on their family profile.

When the seminar ended, students were expected to have a fully balanced budget logged into their check register and budgeting sheet.

“We could lecture for two hours about budgeting, but experiential learning gives students a chance to actually live out what they will face in the future,” said Michael E. Roberts, First Nations president. 

Shawn Spruce, First Nations’ financial education consultant, added: “They interact, laugh, learn and have a lot of fun, and it’s much livelier than a regular classroom. Many of these students are currently taking a financial education course, too, so this seminar enables them to put what they have learned into practice.”

First Nations collected feedback from participants to help evaluate and improve the simulation model.  They hope Crazy Cash City will eventually be used by many schools. 

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