Get A Life Program

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.


The program promotes economic literacy with realistic financial situations and resolution options. It teaches problem-solving skills.


Get a Life establishes strategies for living within a budget. It helps students understand needs versus wants. It also helps build basic math skills.


The simulation encourages participation from local business leaders.

Personal Budget Simulation

Get a Life is a hands-on financial education experience that engages students with realistic family budget scenarios.

The group activity takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and provides students with a series of financial challenges.

By visiting various business stations and managing an expense ledger, students learn to make choices that will affect their financial future.

Participating students walk away with the skills to make better financial decisions. They also learn how higher education will help advance their career goals.

Play at home!
Like to know more?

Schedule your Get a Life event today!

For more information contact The West Virginia State Treasurer’s Office Financial Education Programs division.

Phone: 304-558-5000


The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498
Hours: 8:30am-4:30pm (ET)

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