Teaching teens about money with The Roommates Project

The Roommates Project

Driving Question: How do I save and budget my money as a young adult?

Premise: Students are now young adults, with age range assumed to be 18 – 20 years old. Students request roommates in their class and then I placed them into groups of 2 – 5 people. They are not allowed to live alone because living alone is more expensive. They then are randomly assigned a job which requires only a high school degree. They pull a salary card from a hat or cup and record the listed salary in their project packet. They then have the option to choose of they want to attend college and pull a student card from the hat. Students then work together in groups to find an apartment to live in and to create a monthly budget. In order to do that, I provide workshops, reflections, and field trips to support a strong budget.

Target age group: grades 8 – 10

Time: 3 weeks

Starting Materials:


These are specific things students must do in order to learn how to answer the driving question.

  • Interview and Adult
  • Find an Apartment
  • Learn about sharing expenses
  • Develop a monthly budget
  • Beginning and End Reflection about Money Beliefs



These are lessons the teacher teachers so students can learn and refine how they answer the driving question.


How I built this project:

After students took their state exam, I gave them an opportunity to submit any question about money they could think of. Our field trip to the Federal Reserve had been rescheduled in January and we knew that the end of the year would focus around this field trip. Every student submitted a question. While not all questions can be answered in a single project, I was able to find the common themes and create workshops. Each workshop slide deck includes the questions I directly answer through the information. I am considering writing additional blog posts around the questions I couldn’t answer.


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