Real Money, Real World (RMRW) is a financial literacy program for youth from Ohio State University Extension. It can be used with youth ages 12 – 18 but is ideally suited for youth ages 13-16. This curriculum is time tested and has been highly successful because of the creative community efforts of Extension educators, local school teachers, and community volunteers. RMRW is fun and distinctive because it includes an interactive spending simulation that provides the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those made by 27-year-old adults. As a program of Ohio State University Extension, the most preferred and successful RMRW programs are partnerships of the county OSU Extension office, the school, and the business community.  RMRW has three parts: Four preparatory classroom lessons; A hands-on budget management and decision-making spending simulation; and A post-session evaluation of spending choices made during the simulation.


RMRW has three primary goals:

  • To increase participants' awareness of how education level and corresponding career choice influence personal income and financial security.
  • To increase the students’ knowledge of money management tools used in daily spending for cost-of-living decisions.
  • To increase participants’ awareness of how income and lifestyle choices affect the amount of money available for discretionary spending

If you are interested in partnering with OSU Extension on this program, please contact our office. We are able to modify this program to meet the needs of diverse audiences and available time frames. Some current RMRW partnerships have included afterschool programs with local nonprofits, in school sessions, intensive summer sessions,  and special customization for home schooling groups.