CHARLESTON — West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue has launched a printable version of his office’s “Get a Life” financial education activity for parents and educators looking for at-home learning opportunities.
Every year, Perdue brings the Get a Life budget simulation to hundreds of middle schools across the state. This year’s coronavirus crisis ended school early, depriving students who had been scheduled for the group activity this spring.
Perdue says the budget simulation is designed for students in eighth grade but may be a beneficial exercise for students at both the middle school and high school levels. Typically, students gather in a gymnasium or cafeteria and complete the experience in large groups. This modified version brings a similar experience into the home, he said.
“This is still a hands-on activity,” Perdue said. “We are encouraging students to take a break from video games and television to complete this beneficial learning exercise.”
Perdue says Get a Life teaches young men and women just how far a dollar will stretch, or not stretch, depending on the education and training one has accumulated in preparation.
Students are given a fictional salary and expected to buy all the goods and services needed for everyday life, such as a house, a car, insurance and so on. The ledger printout is necessary to keep track of expenses, while the shopping guide provides prices of goods and services. Once completed, participants are guided to a link for a second round, where they have a chance to acquire advanced education which leads to a better salary.
“This activity gives students the chance to make decisions, exercise their minds, and experience real-world problem-solving scenarios,” Perdue said.
To download and print a ledger and the shopping guide necessary for playing, go to https://www.wvtreasury.com/Education/Get-A-Life/GAL-Home.
Students will also need a pencil with an eraser. The Treasurer’s Office has several other financial education resources for all ages available online. Visit www.wvtreasury.com for more information.