The Life Simulation experience is designed to help credit union staff members attending the Employees Conference begin to understand what it might be like to live in a typical low-income family trying to survive from month-to-month. It is unique and special because it combines the financial and emotional distress simulated families tackle with other participants. 


During the three-hour activity, participants are grouped into “families” struggling to make ends meet in a simulated month of four fifteen-minute weeks. Each participant plays a unique role within the family. Some might be working adults, while others might be unemployed or on disability. Some children may have behavioral issues or be living with a grandparent. With each person playing their role, these simulated families visit a variety of tables, including a school, employer, pawn shop and payday lender. Through the exercise they encounter events & financial crises faced by many low-income Americans, including eviction, loss of utilities, lack of reliable transportation, crime, and the moment-to-moment stress of making ends meet. At the conclusion of the exercise participants share their experiences and emotions in a powerful debriefing session.


The Life Simulation is appropriate for all credit union staff to experience! In particular, front-line staff who serve members can benefit, as well as key decision makers in credit unions who set policies and oversee products and services.