Living on My Own (LOMO)

Living On My Own : Learning and Applying Financial Responsibility Through workshop and simulation

  1. Smith, N. Nelson, UF/IFAS Extension, Manatee County, FL.

Situation: Manatee County high schools do not offer financial training classes for adolescents. Adolescents see life from a different point of view than adults, but when they are faced with the financial responsibilities and stress of becoming an adult their point of view changes. The financial workshop and simulation Living On My Own (LOMO) incorporated real life situations and circumstances into action.  Florida has the highest overall rate of student loan defaults among college students in the United States. The average student loan debt in Florida is approximately $21,184. County Extension Adolescents classes are designed to modify this particular behavior and effect change within our local communities.  Methods: Three financial session classes were developed to teach the basics of budgeting, writing checks, filling up a transaction register, calculating net income and use of financial institutions. During one of the lessons the students were given a job, a family situation and a limited income and were tasked with financial planning for their simulated situation. During a field trip session, the students learned the importance of maintaining good credit scores when individuals realized financial transactions such as renting an apartment or buying or leasing a car and all the extra expenses associate to them.  The final session of the day finished with the simulation where every one of the participants visited all 12 stations and made a decision on what to purchase at each one.  Results:  One hundred percent of the class bought a used car and rented an apartment according to the size of their family in their first purchases. One hundred percent of the class learned to write checks and fill in a transaction register. Conclusion: Students obtained training and were able to apply that training to real-life circumstances during the simulation at the end of the class. This was made possible through practicing basic financial strategies taught during the workshop and field trip.

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