Real Money, Real World is a hands-on financial literacy program that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those they will make as adults. It is intended to be a partnership of the county Ohio State University Extension, the school, and the community. Real Money, Real World consists of three parts: a pre-simulation preparation, a hands-on budget management and decision-making simulation and a post-session evaluation of choices made.

Community volunteers assist at stations such as, housing, childcare, insurance, clothing or food to provide a hands-on real world simulation for the students. Program volunteers have the opportunity to work one-on-one with students and help them make financial choices as they travel through the real life simulation. The program is a great opportunity for community volunteers to talk to, teach, and impact the lives of students in our community.

The Clinton County 4-H Educator coordinates Real Money, Real World in three county public school systems reaching over 550 students annually. Students that explore the Real Money, Real World curriculum increase awareness of needed education levels and career opportunities. Over 55 trained community members come together to partner with Wilmington City Middle School, Clinton Massie Middle School and Blanchester Middle School. The coalition included Wilmington College, teachers, Kroger Company, County Commissioners, Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Court, Bennett Real Estate, Farm Bureau, OSU Extension state and county staff, Nationwide Insurance Wilmington & Blanchester, National Bank and Trust, Cole Taylor Mortgage Company, Clinton County Health Department, County  Homemaker Members and many 4-H volunteers.


Here’s just a few of the student comments after completing the program this year.

“Save more money back and get the best education I can.”

“I learned it’s not so easy at times and we all should be thankful for what we have.”

“Real Money Real World is a very important thing to participant in and you learn tons.”

“I plan to change my way of saving money. I will open a savings account and be careful on what I spend my money on.”