Mad City Money – (FUN) Personal Finance Education For Teens!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to an event called ‘Mad City Money’ sponsored by the Northeast Florida Chapter of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.  Mad City Money is a two-hour hands-on simulation that gives teens a taste of the real world – complete with occupation, salary, spouse, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance payments.

I was so excited when 121 Financial contacted me and asked if I would be willing to represent them along with some other team members at the event. Basically, the credit unions in my area get together and put this event on just for teens! I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into, so let me tell you all about it:

First, I had to get up early on a Saturday. I admit to feeing a little bitter about that but I got over it after I got a hot chocolate in me. We had to be there at 9am for training and the teens were to arrive by 10am. Jimmy Manos of FirstFlorida Credit Union conducted the training and ran the event with the teens.  He did a great job explaining what we needed to do and helping the teens when they got there later in the morning.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

Training started at 9am (yawn). You can see the different stations as Jimmy explains exactly what we will be doing.

When everyone started arriving we were ready for them!  Jimmy gave them their packet of info about their ‘life’ and they got started. The packet told them their profession, how much money they made, how many children they had, and how much debt they had. It even told them how much money their spouse made! They used this info to determine exactly how much money they had to spend.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

Great turnout for the event and everyone had so much fun!

After figuring all of that out everyone had to go and visit each station. I worked at the food station. Each teen had to make some choices about purchasing groceries and how often they would go out to eat. Once they made their choice we would give them a receipt for their purchases.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

Mr. Harper, CFO of State Employees Credit Union worked with me at the food station. He is helping one of the students decide what he can afford.

Student had to visit each of the stations and decide how much to spend on things like clothing, buying a car, decorating your home, providing for children, purchasing a home or renting an apartment. There was even a mall where you could buy just about anything!

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

Gretchen Quisenberry, Sr. VP of Human Resources at 121 Financial, helps a few of the participants decorate their home and buy household items.

The goal was to make all of the purchases that you need to live and have $100 left in your checking account. One of the teens went to the credit union station FIRST and put $500 in savings! (She wins!) It was a lot of fun and I think almost every attendee reached the goal! I am so glad that 121 asked me to participate and I hope to be involved in the future.

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

So proud to represent 121 with these ladies!

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions really knocked it out of the park with this event. It was fun, educational, and there was free food! They brought in pizza and soda for everyone and then gave away a ton of great gift cards. I tried to sneak and get a raffle ticket but it was only for the participants. I really wanted one of the iTunes gift cards!

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

So many prizes! Movie tickets, gift cards for eating out, ice cream, Visa gift cards and even iTunes!

It was really encouraging to me to see so many different credit unions working together to provide such an amazing opportunity for teens in my community. 121 Financial, First Florida, Community First, Alive, Jax Federal, State Employees, and Vystar all sent representatives. If you are interested in having your local credit union sponsor a ‘Mad City Money’ event in your area just let me know on the contact form. I will be happy to connect you with those who can help you get started!

The League of Southeastern Credit Unions

All of the volunteers who made Mad City Money such a success!

I also want to thank Angela Coleman-Rao, Chief Marketing Officer for Jax Federal Credit Union. She coordinated the event and did lots of work behind the scenes. I am so glad to be a part of such a great community!

be centsible,


Be sure to check out 121′s Facebook page!