Money Medical: Healthy Money Management

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Northwest Media Inc.

Eight 45-minute units. CD-ROM $69.

A lively CD-ROM curriculum introduces sound financial management skills through the experiences of six colorful teenage cartoon characters. When her roommates won’t lend her any more money, Alexus must be literally scraped off the wall by a paramedic, who takes her to the hospital to recover her financial health. Dr. Buck issues her diagnosis: “You need to change your money script.” For another patient, BB, whose credit card was declined, Dr. Buck diagnoses “outpatient credit rehab.”

The paramedic becomes the narrator who leads viewers into a self-assessment, “Your Money Health.” With his good-natured encouragement, answers to 20 questions are automatically scored onscreen. Alexus and BB join a Money Anonymous (MA) group with four other young people -- who discuss their own financial issues – and learn new attitudes and techniques for handling money.

Eight units combine live class discussion with segments from the CD-ROM that follow the MA group’s progress. Alongside its audience, the MA group uses The Big Book of Financial Health, a booklet provided in PDF, to grasp concepts such as “money scripts” – personal attitudes about money – and “self-talk” that focuses on good habits. Sessions cover how to construct and follow a budget, understand a pay stub, use banks and credit safely, and more.

Excellent interactive computer exercises reinforce absorption of concepts and personal reflection. Printable exercise worksheets are another option.

Enlivened by convincing voice actors, the MA group’s diverse and engaging characters will remind young people of themselves. The snappy pace never flags, and humor livens even the dullest topics. The “Manage your money and don’t let it manage you” message will stick. A PDF teacher’s handbook is included. (800) 777-6636, http://www.northwestmedia.com, http://www.sociallearning.com.