For Schools

Ohio State University Extension is actively working to prepare youth for their financial futures by partnering with schools to provide Real Money. Real World. (RMRW). More than 20,000 Ohio students participated in RMRW in 2013.

This financial literacy curriculum has been time tested since 2005, and it has been highly successful because of dedicated teachers and OSU Extension professionals.

RMRW provides young people the opportunity to learn basic money management practices in the classroom and then make simulated lifestyle and budget choices similar to those adults face on a daily basis through a spending simulation. RMRW is a great example of “learning-by-doing.”

The most preferred and successful Real Money. Real World. programs are partnerships of the county OSU Extension office, the school, the business community, and other caring adults who volunteer at the spending simulations.

Real Money. Real World. consists of three parts:

Part I:  Four preparatory classroom lessons:

  1. How Education and Occupation Affect Income
  2. Deductions: What You See is Not What You Get
  3. Checking and Savings Accounts
  4.  Making Choices: Preparing for the Spending Simulation

Part II:  Interactive Spending Simulation 

A hands-on budget management and decision-making activity involving Extension professionals, school staff, and local adult volunteers.

During the spending simulation, students assume the role of a 27-year-old adult. They receive an occupation, monthly salary, and the number of children they are raise. Community volunteers staff booths that represent actual businesses in the community.

By visiting the appropriate booths, students spend their salaries on items typically found in a monthly budget including:

Chance Credit Housing
Child Care Entertainment Insurance
Clothing Financial Advice Transportation
Communications Food Utilities

Throughout the activity, students keep track of their finances and attempt to complete the simulation with a positive balance.

Part III:  Classroom Lesson 5

What Did You Learn?: A post-session evaluation of spending choices made during the simulation. Students reflect on their experience and what they learned by completing a self-assessment.

Securing RMRW for your school/community:

Conducting RMRW as a partner with your county Extension professionals assures that the program will be cost efficient for you and educationally effective for your youth. Only Extension land-grant university professionals have access to RMRW curriculum. 

If you are interested in RMRW and live in Ohio, contact your county Extension office. Find your Extension office online at

If RMRW can be brought to your school, your local Extension professional will provide you the RMRW curriculum and slide show presentations to be used in the classroom.