Jan 13, 2022

Interactive: Five Money Musts

Five Money Musts is an interactive where students are forced to make trade-offs as they work their way through a budgeting exercise that envisions their lives after they complete their educational journey. The budgeting decisions include:

  • Deciding between three job offers
  • Deciding on an apartment rental taking into account commute time, cost and # of roommates
  • Choosing essential expenses
  • Contributing to a 401k
  • Deciding whether to get a credit card
  • Managing discretionary expenses and entertainment choices
  • Setting up an emergency savings account

Discussion questions: 

  • What was the most important decision that you made in the game?
  • How did you decide what job to take? 
  • What decision did you feel most qualified to make? least qualified to make? 
  • How does the life you envision after high school/college compare with what you just experienced in the game? 
  • One major takeaway from playing Five Money Musts? 


Additional Teacher favorites among NGPF Budgeting activities:  


 Find more engaging interactives in the NGPF Interactive Library (with worksheets)

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Brian Page

Making a difference in the lives of students through financial capability is Brian’s greatest passion. He comes to NGPF after fifteen years of public school teaching where he was the ‘11 Ohio Department of Education recipient of a Milken National Educator Award, the CEE Forbes Award winner, and a Money Magazine/CNN "Money Hero". He served on the working group for President Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He has private school experience as a Trustee for the Cincinnati Country Day School and was a past Ohio Jump$tart President. Brian holds a BBA and M.Ed. When Brian isn’t working alongside his NGPF teammates he is likely spending time with his wife, three children, and dog; hiking, or watching Ohio State football.

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