A new approach is helping students learn real world finance by paying rent on their desks and other tasks such as balancing a check book and paying bills.

Students Learn Real World Finance by Paying Rent on Their DesksTwo teachers decided to show their students how the real world operates.  Alec McAlarnen and Haylee Botts decided to use a program called My Classroom Economy, designed by Vanguard, the investment management company.

The intent of the program is to have the students become financially literate and understand how money works in real life.  That means learning how to earn money, manage and invest it, and donating it to help others. And if they mismanage money, they could be homeless – or deskless.

“The kids learn about balancing a checkbook. They learn responsibility. They learn organization skills,” said McAlarnen. “It’s something they can definitely take with them outside of the classroom.”

Students have jobs, write resumes and find a reference when applying. They dont get paid unless they do the work, and have choices for spending, which are good and bad. They pay fines for discipline infractions, and they pay rent to occupy their desks, just as they would pay to occupy a house or apartment.

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