I love my job! As a Business Development Officer for Day Air I get to meet many community leaders, educate the public on the importance of financial management, be involved with several community service organizations and I am engaged with several Chambers of Commerce.

But, by far, I get the most satisfaction out of instructing some of our youth in the community about the importance of money management when it comes to being financially independent and successful in life. Being independent is one of the primary goals of the Centerville and Fairmont transition students as well as the students of EchoingU and Project Search. Students in the transition programs have some challenges in learning and the primary objective for the teachers is to prepare them for achieving their goal of independence.

My role with these programs is to support the teachers with their financial curriculum. I am sure many of you are aware of the parent/teacher syndrome… you know, the one where teachers and parents don’t know anything of value. Well, I come in and hopefully provide an outside influence to reiterate the lessons already taught by the teachers.

We have a five-part program that details various aspects of financial literacy:

  • Goal Setting and Budgeting
  • Checking and Savings accounts and The Importance of Saving
  • Credit and Financial Safety
  • Mad City Money Preparation
  • Mad City Money Budgeting Simulation

You might be thinking – What is Mad City Money? Mad City Money is a budgeting simulation in which the students are given a financial life and they have to make purchasing and saving decisions that will affect that life. For example, your life may consist of being married with a child, you and your spouse have a job and you have student loan and credit card debt. There are stations set up around a room that simulate different merchants such as Food Network, Reality Realty, Hot Wheels, Mad City Mall and My Child. At each station, you must make a decision as to what you will be buying. Do I buy a house or lease an apartment? Do I buy a new car or a used car? Do I use a professional Day Care facility or use grandma and grandpa? At the end of the simulation, they total their income and subtract their expenses. Did they spend too much? If so, where can they cut their expenses? Did they have money left over at the end of the month? If so, how much of the overage can be put into an emergency savings or even a retirement plan?

These young adults learn the importance of budgeting and how budgeting helps you control your money rather than your money controlling you… and have fun at the same time. Did I mention we provide lunch for these young adults while we debrief the group as to what they learned?

Our mission at Day Air is to enhance our member’s financial well-being and this program fits rather nicely into living the mission each and every day.

Donald Schweitzer
Business Development Officer