South Florida High School students learn personal finance with Mad City Money

MIAMI, FL (November 8, 2013) — More than 400 Academy of Finance freshmen and sophomores packed Miami Dade College’s (MDC) North Campus, Wednesday, November 6, to take part in an interactive budgeting simulation called Mad City Money®.

Jostling for position, students visited ten merchant booths to make housing, clothing, transportation, day-care and entertainment selections.  To pay for their lifestyles, students received an identity, an occupation and a salary.  They then wrote checks and had to balance a budget.  The budgeting simulation is just one of many educational activities sponsored by South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union (SFEFCU) throughout the school year.  The goal is to teach personal finance through role play.

SFEFCU has been sponsoring Mad City Money®, for high school students since 2007.  Since its inception the Credit Union has reached more than 2,500 students. “This is a huge learning experience for our young students, said Ms. Tangela Shavers, Lead Finance Academy Teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High.  “Our students really come away with a better understanding of what their parents encounter every day.”

While the Credit Union employees and Academy Advisory Board members provided guidance, students visited merchant booths to buy a car, a home and living necessities for their families.  Some students were often overheard telling their peers how stressed they were because of “all the bills they had to pay.”

To kick off this year’s event, Credit Union President and CEO Michael DiBenedetto welcomed the students and offered advice based on his personal experiences.

“To build wealth, it is important to save, spend less than you earn and live within your means, said DiBenedetto, if you start practicing this today; it will help train you for your future.”

That theme carried over to the whole afternoon as students tried desperately to balance their budget and live within their appointed salaries.

In addition to the budgeting simulation, MDC representatives offered information sessions covering topics on the cost of college, financial aid, college admissions and programs of study.

Mad City Money® is a component of the Credit Union’s award winning “Got Green?” financial literacy program. 

About SFEFCU’s “Got Green?” program

“Got Green?” is a free program available to all M-DCPS schools and MDC classrooms and has reached more than 30,000 students to date.  The program has been recognized by the Florida Department of Education and South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union has been enshrined into the M-DCPS Hall of Fame.

To learn more about Mad City Money®, Got Green? Or to schedule a free workshop, send an email to or call 305.270.6633.

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