The “Get a Life” program was developed for the West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office by Fairmont State University to teach students statewide about managing personal finances through a fairly fun budget simulation. Students are first given a red card with a job title, family size, and monthly income. The red cards only have jobs available in West Virginia without any post-secondary education (like college or a trade school).
After the students buy a car, house, insurance, groceries, furniture, and gas, they trade in their red card for a green one, but not before the Green Reaper stops by. The Green Reaper hands out “accident” cards. Sometimes a student will get a puppy, other times they get a flat tire, but either way they spend money.
By now, the students are usually in debt, prompting the trade to a green card. The green cards give the students a better job, one only acquired through post-secondary education. When they finish with their green card, they usually have money left over. By demonstrating money management by allowing the students to see how easy it is to fall into debt without personal finance skills, they are better able to comprehend the importance of post-secondary education.