Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew.
I wonder how many kids are really ready for the “real world” when it comes to making financial decisions? I suppose I could say the same thing for many adults! Financial literacy is one of the most valuable courses a student could have, yet often overlooked in most high schools and colleges. At least that was the case for me. I want my kids to understand how to create a budget, how to plan for the unplanned, and have some understanding of how the stock market works. I was happy to be chosen to review PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game, and integrated curriculum from PersonalFinanceLab.com.
What Is Personal Finance Lab?
The PersonalFinanceLab is an online program consisting of a budgeting game and a stock market game. Hundreds of integrated lessons in economics, business, and accounting are included with both games. It is designed for students in middle and high school as a tool to teach financial literacy. PersonalFinanceLab can be used as a complete finance curriculum with the lessons, or as a supplemental course. Either way, students are equipped with skills that are valuable in the real world. What’s really unique about PersonalFinanceLab.com are the games. Set up with real word situations, students will gain a deeper understanding of money in, money out – with hopes of keeping more money in!
The Budget Game
The budget game provides the student a virtual way of “adulting”. Choose life as a college student working part time, or as a full time employee. In the initial set up, you choose which one of those paths to take, then with the roll of the dice experience real life scenarios throughout a month. The player will get a paycheck every Friday, have various bills throughout the month, as well as plenty of unexpected expenses along the way. Such is life!
When the weekend rolls around, there are choices to make. You can choose whether to work extra hours, do household chores, professional development, or socialize. All of them affect your “quality of life” score. There are also incorporated lessons and decisions to make concerning credit cards: how to use them wisely, avoid late fees, and maximize your credit score. Saving is another factor addressed in the budget game. The “game score” will reflect how you well you balance bills, credit cards, saving, and wise decision making. Each “month” takes around 20 minutes to complete. If playing against a sibling or parent, it adds in the extra element of competition. You also have the option to customize and change variables throughout the game.
The Stock Game
The stock market game is a realistic stock market platform where you can buy and sell stocks, research companies, read current trends, and more. Each user account receives an amount of virtual dollars ($100,000) in a brokerage account and learns to play the market by buying and selling stocks at real-time prices. From the dashboard, you will find articles, quizzes, and videos to begin to learn about trading and investing.
Final Thoughts of Personal Finance Lab
PersonalFinanceLab.com is an impressive program! I like the fact that it provides a “hands on” experience for teens, in a way that they can be an active participant through the course. We both spent more time on the budget aspect of the game, and I feel like my daughter learned things that go far beyond what you would find in a textbook. Initially, it seemed overwhelming to set up and get going, but after we decided to start somewhere, it moved along nicely. There are tutorials that are helpful in getting started. She completed a year, and I, seven months of the game.
We did not spend as much time with the stock game, other than choosing a few and seeing what happens with the market. I do not have much knowledge of how the stock market works, but would love to learn! Although there are numerous lessons, it didn’t appear obvious exactly where to start with this one. I feel a little more time with the program will give me more guidance as to how to make the most of it. There is so much to learn! Both games combined with the lessons provide a solid course in financial literacy. These skills that will last a lifetime.
If you have a teen, I highly recommend PersonalFinanceLab.com. Knowledge of how to manage finances is a valuable skill that shouldn’t go unlearned. See how other families used the PersonalFinanceLab Budgeting Game, Stock Market Game, and integrated curriculum in their homes by clicking the banner below. Then follow the folks at Personal Finance Lab on social media!
Instagram: @pfinlab / https://www.instagram.com/pfinlab/
YouTube: Stock-Trak – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1bctfGzsS_YVQT1MGMRIGQ