“So we got a little bit of a debt problem right now,” said Karnetta Rushing.
It was an eye-opening experience for hundreds of area teens participating in the summer Step-Up Omaha! program.
“There's a lot to do as you get older because nothing is free,” said participant Kayonia Griffin.
“In the future you don't know what's coming up. You might have a loan or you might have a debt to pay. It’s nice that you can come here and learn about it,” said participant Iguan Rodger.
The Mad City Money program is all about learning how to budget while working as a team.
Karnetta Rushing with the Urban Financial Services Coalition and other local volunteers put the participants through a simulation of real financial situations.
“They have to know at a young age that it's important to start saving their money, putting things away and make plans with their finances,” said Rushing.
Each group was given an occupation, salary and one or two kids. From there they had two hours to figure out how to wisely spend their monthly salary on everything from housing to food.
“It showed us a lot of things that I really didn’t know you had to pay for,” said Griffin.
For the more than 400 participants, the Mad City Money Program was not only a great learning experience, but a great insight into what is to come in the future.
“I can see why our parents are mad, this can be very stressful,” said one participant.