‘The Game of Life, but more interactive’: Live Your Best Life event to help students gain financial experience

The Live Your Best Life Event helps students gain financial responsibility for their chosen career. Powercat Financial hosts it annually with Meritrust Credit Union. (Photo courtesy of Jodi Kaus)

Powercat Financial Counseling will host its annual Live Your Best Life event at noon Monday in the K-State Student Union courtyard. Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial Counseling, said the event will take students through a life simulation and teach them to manage money in their chosen career. 

“Students, when they arrive, will either select or begin a career … and with that, a salary expectation,” Kaus said. “They will go around to different stations to create a post-grad budget as far as their housing, transportation, utilities, childcare and … student loan payments. It’s similar to The Game of Life, but more interactive.” 

Kaus said Live Your Best Life will give students a head-start on planning their life path.

“Students are definitely wanting to see what the real world is going to be like when they get out and graduate, and this gives them a sense of that now,” Kaus said. “Plus, they can ask some questions in an early format so they can start crafting their path and maybe make wise choices along the way.” 

Chris Wolgamott, director of financial well-being for Meritrust Credit Union, said Meritrust partnered with Powercat Financial to host the event and provide professionals from each career to talk with students.

“We actually created the Live Your Best Life event a number of years ago and used it in high schools, colleges and even middle schools in the Wichita area,” Wolgamott said. “When we were partnering with Powercat Financial we told them about the program and they thought it was really interesting, and a great way to get their peer counselors involved in working with students there on campus.” 

Sarah Biehler, junior in personal financial planning, said peer financial counselors will also be available at the event to speak with students.

“We as students can help our students by being relatable,” Biehler, peer financial counselor for Powercat Financial, said. “We’re in a really unique spot to be a liaison and a support system for students where we can share some of our own experiences in hopes that we’re approachable and helpful for them.”

Wolgamott said Live Your Best Life makes an impact on students because it is interactive.

“You could stand in front of students for an hour and lecture about all the different ways that they could spend their money wisely and all the different decisions they have to make, but that doesn’t give them the opportunity to make those decisions themselves,” Wolgamott said. “They get to actually experience it a little bit, which is a great model for retention.” 

Biehler said she attended Live Your Best Life last year and found it helpful. 

“There was a lot that came out of [attending],” Biehler said. “Overall, it really got me thinking about some of the things I might not have before. It’s easy to think while you’re in college that once you get a full-time, salaried job that your monthly income is going to go through the roof, or you’re going to be able to comfortably pay for all your expenses. I think it was my big wake-up call.”

Kaus said Live Your Best Life is open to any K-State student.

“It’s free, and they can just show up, no sign-up required,” Kaus said. “It’s kind of a come-and-go, so if they can only come for part of the time they’re still welcome to come and participate.” 

For questions regarding Live Your Best Life, contact Powercat Financial Counseling at powercatfinancial@k-state.edu