Living On My Own-Financial Education

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What is Living On My Own? Living On My Own (LOMO) is a hands-on, real-life simulation that gives young people the opportunity to experience their futures in a fun and exciting way. They are encouraged to make healthy and wise lifestyle choices similar to those adults face on a daily basis. It is designed to be a partnership among UF/IFAS Extension Programs, community partners, and schools.

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Living on My Own consists of:

  • Preparation for simulation: lessons on money, jobs, banking, purchasing items, and more
  • Hands on simulation that focuses on money management decisions
  • Post-simulation briefing—net worth, evaluation and discussion


How does Living on My Own work?

Prior to the simulation, teachers prepare students by going through the sample lessons

Lesson 1: Introducing Living On My Own and Money Personality

Lesson 2: Charging it up-The cost of credit

Lesson 3: Checking-how to write a check and manage a checking account including auto deposits and auto withdrawals

Lesson 4: Advanced Checking-how to balance a checkbook

What happens during the Living On My Own Simulation?

During the simulation, students assume they are 25 years old and are the primary or sole support of their household. Each youth will choose an envelope at random which will include an occupation and monthly gross income, participants make routine deductions for taxes and medical expenses. The envelope will also describe their family situation (married or single, with or without children), their credit history and their checkbook and debit card. Using sample checks and registers, they learn how to record and manage their bank accounts. They move from one station to another in the simulation, making spending choices among the following categories:

  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Banking services
  • Groceries
  • Utilities
  • Entertainment
  • Insurance
  • Child care
  • Clothing, electronics, health and grooming
  • Charitable contributions


After each spending decision, students write a check or use a debit card and subtract the amount from their registers. They may also receive a “Life Happens” card which represents unexpected expenses and incomes encountered in real life. They proceed through each of the stations, making selections and managing their money.


The Stations for the simulation represent real life businesses and are staffed by the teachers at the school enrolled in the simulation.


Students will increase their awareness of:

  • Costs of living on their own
  • Using financial institutions (banks, credit unions)
  • Education levels attained have a direct relationship to occupations and salaries
  • Making wise consumer decisions.


Financial Literacy:

Financial education for young people is vital to their success in the future. Learning about money and economics is an important life skill.


National standards for Financial Literacy have recently been established. Many states have mandated Financial Education in public schools. Living On My Own in Florida supports these standards and serves as a program for students to apply the life skills learned in financial education courses.


Summary of National Financial Education Standards

  1. Earning Income- Income for most people is determined by the market value of their labor, paid as wages and salaries. People can increase their income and job opportunities by choosing to acquire more education, work experience, and job skills. The decision to undertake an activity that increases income or job opportunities is affected by the expected benefits and costs of such an activity. Income also is obtained from other sources such as interest, rents, capital gains, dividends, and profits.
  2. Buying Goods and Services People cannot buy or make all the goods and services they want; as a result, people choose to buy some goods and services and not buy others. People can improve their economic well-being by making informed spending decisions, which entails collecting information, planning, and budgeting.
  3. Saving Saving is the part of income that people choose to set aside for future uses. People save for different reasons during the course of their lives. People make different choices about how they save and how much they save. Time, interest rates, and inflation affect the value of savings.
  4. Using Credit Credit allows people to purchase goods and services that they can use today and pay for those goods and services in the future with interest. People choose among different credit options that have different costs. Lenders approve or deny applications for loans based on an evaluation of the borrower’s past credit history and expected ability to pay in the future. Higher-risk borrowers are charged higher interest rates; lower-risk borrowers are charged lower interest rates.
  5. Financial Investing Financial investment is the purchase of financial assets to increase income or wealth in the future. Investors must choose among investments that have different risks and expected rates of return. Investments with higher expected rates of return tend to have greater risk. Diversification of investment among a number of choices can lower investment risk.
  6. Protecting and Insuring People make choices to protect themselves from the financial risk of lost income, assets, health, or identity. They can choose to accept risk, reduce risk, or transfer the risk to others. Insurance allows people to transfer risk by paying a fee now to avoid the possibility of a larger loss later. The price of insurance is influenced by an individual’s behavior.

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