In the futuristic Mad City, fifteen teens briefly became adults with careers, families and debt in the Mad City Money course at the College of the Mainland North County Learning Center in League City.

Through interactive scenarios, Becky Day of Johnson Space Center Federal Credit Union taught participants how to budget, save and wisely spend money using pretend debit cards.

“The goal is to purchase everything [they need] and still have at least $100 left at the end of the month,” said Day.

But, just as in real life, students discovered that sometimes unexpected events can interrupt even the best-laid plans. With either a surprise windfall check or an unexpected bill to pay, students realized the importance of saving and planning ahead. 

After the class, a 13-year-old said that when she creates a budget in the future she will “start with needs, then go to wants.”

Another student agreed.

“I will make a spending plan/budget and spend my money wisely and use all the tips I learned in this class,” she said.

Another 13-year-old said when she grew up she wanted to “invest [her] money and become a millionaire.” She enjoyed the class. “I want to come again."

Not only did they learn practical skills but they also had fun.

“I saw a lot of laughing,” said Lanis Neugent, director of the North County Learning Center.

Students enjoyed discovering what it is like to be an adult.

“This was fun, and I will recommend that my friends come here and learn,” said one student.