How do I save money for a college education? Will I be able to buy a house one day? How do I save for and invest in my retirement? These are questions that every young person will ask themselves at some point. However, very few are actually able to answer them. In fact, three out of four millennials cannot answer basic financial wellness questions. Consider the challenge of paying for college tuition: Statistics show that only 16% of middle school students think they will need student loans to finance higher education. In reality, almost 70% of those who graduate with a degree will be loaded down with student loan debt. We need a better way to educate young people about their financial future while they are still forming the habits that will follow them into adulthood.
The Game Agency, in partnership with the nation’s leading education technology company, created a web-based game for middle schoolers that teaches students how to be informed stewards of their financial future.
This game allows students to take on the role of the mayor of a small town, helping local citizens make real-life financial decisions. Each of the seven modules teaches students about financial values and goal settings, budgeting, and opportunity costs saving and investing, payment types, banking, risk vs. return, and planning for the future. Each fictional citizen has a problem that the student may face themselves, mimicking real-life scenarios that focus on saving, career planning, and budgeting.
By immersing students in a safe, fictionalized world, the game helps them to learn and make mistakes without impacting their financial futures. Each module becomes a building block for dealing with the nuances of everyday economics, teaching students the skills necessary for living in our complex economic world. As an added bonus, students can continue their journey towards financial literacy using the free companion mobile app available for download from the iTunes or Google Play store. In the simulated adventure, students control the family purse strings and make spending decisions starting at buying school supplies in level one to enjoying the fruits of their labor during retirement in lucky level thirteen.