FutureSmart uses storytelling and simulation to connect seemingly intangible skills to real-world contexts. It is a narrative that actively involves students in knowledge creation and skill building that they can apply in their own lives.
Interactive exercises challenge students to make choices in real-life scenarios to achieve important goals around saving, job planning, and budgeting. Using their knowledge and experience from the course, students set their own financial goals and make plans for their future.
Students are introduced to the course storyline, where they play the mayor of a town as they help local citizens make real-life, personal finance decisions. Students reflect on their own personal financial priorities, habits and mindsets through a “Financial Personality Test.”
Students are introduced to David, a middle school student who wants to redecorate his room on a limited budget. Students must prioritize David’s budget, use comparison shopping methods to decide which specific items to buy, research upcoming spending decisions, and make smart choices about when to spend or save.
Students meet Trevor, a college student who needs help saving for an end of summer trip, while managing his day-to-day expenses. Students must help him select a job, review his paycheck and credit card statement, and help him make decisions about when to utilize different payment types.
Students advise Sydney, a high school student, on her future career path. Students must help her narrow down the career path she’d like to pursue – by examining her skills and interests, the career’s income potential, economic factors such as supply and demand in the labor market, and the education and training requirements or different careers.
Students help Mia, a business owner, calculate her monthly profit and loss, and devise a strategy to save up for new capital for her business. Students must help the business owner open savings and checking accounts, grow her money faster with a certificate of deposit, and make monthly transaction decisions.
Students accompany Chris, as recent college graduate, as he goes through a “life simulation,” helping him make insurance and investment decisions at critical life milestones. Students help Chris select different insurance policies (and experience how random, unexpected occurrences can lead to financial loss), and help him adjust his investment portfolio as he nears retirement age.
The MassMutual Foundation has teamed up with Junior Achievement (JA) and select NBA teams to educate middle school students about smart money management through an interactive experience coupled with JA’s volunteer-led classroom curriculum. Actor and author Hill Harper leads a highly engaging 75-minute program that draws up to 3000 students to local NBA arenas.
Topics include the power of saving, “smart money vs. dumb money,” the value of staying in school, and how education and career choices can impact what they earn.
FutureSmart Digital supports the critical middle school years by empowering students to effectively manage their finances, make sound decisions, and become stewards of their financial future. Each learning module contains surveys and assessments that provide visibility into student knowledge gains and changes in attitudes and behaviors.
Available in English and Spanish.
Students also have access to a mobile app that extends important lessons from the course into their everyday lives. This simulation-based experience takes students through the financial decisions they’ll face over the course of their life and models positive financial behaviors along the way.
The FutureSmart app is available in English and Spanish.