BUS 425: Introduction to Personal Finance

Dr. Melissa Hart and the DELTA team consisting of Dan Dunnagan, Ben Huckaby and Sam McCuen developed BUS 425, Introduction to Personal Finance, as a personal finance simulation to help students make connections across course topics and deepen their understanding of the relationship between financial planning and quality of life. Hart is a lecturer in the Department of Business Management in Poole College of Management. 

Instructional Challenges

  • Students master individual course topics without developing the ability to create and evaluate financial plans that optimize decisions across all topics.
  • Finance majors’ academic mindset can make it difficult to understand why people, even themselves, struggle with financial planning.

Highlights and Solutions

The simulation works like a standalone game. Students make various lifestyle and financial choices as they progress from graduation to retirement. Planned and random events test, and stimulate reflection on, their choices and revisions.

The object of the activity is to stimulate guided, iterative reflection on the player’s personal goals and desired balance of quality of life versus financial planning. Each of the three levels engages students with additional course topics. Grades for the activity are based on completion and submitted reflections.

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