What is On My Own?
On My Own is a hands-on, real-life simulation that gives young people ages 13- 18 the opportunity to experience adulthood in a fun and exciting way. During the simulation, participants assume they are 26 years old, are the primary or sole support of the household, and are encouraged to make healthy and wise lifestyle choices similar to those adults face on a daily basis. After exploring careers, students receive a monthly salary for their chosen career type, a family scenario, and an asset. Then, they proceed through “real life,” deducting taxes, determining a savings goal, and spending their monthly salaries on the necessities as well as luxury items that reflect the career and lifestyle they have chosen.
How Does It Work?
Using sample transaction registers, participants learn how to record their spending and manage their bank accounts. After making deposits and deducting taxes, students choose how to spend their money from the following categories: housing, transportation, health care, clothing, utilities, community, child care, groceries, insurance. After choosing from each category, participants debit the amounts from their transaction registers. They also may receive a chance card that represents unexpected expenses and incomes encountered in real life. They complete the simulation by evaluating their choices and considering alternatives.
Some facts about the On My Own program
- On My Own financial education simulation reaches over 30,000 students annually across Tennessee.
- After participating in the On My Own program over 80% of students reported discovering how much money it really takes to get by as well as having a better understanding of their parents’ concerns about money.
- Students also reported feeling that they needed a good education and plan to obtain more education after high school.
- Through the On My Own program, students gain an understanding of financial concepts as well as the relationship income has to lifestyle, education, and family size.