Living on My Own Provides Real-life Simulation

NDSU Extension’s Living On My Own (LOMO) program is a hands-on, real-life simulation providing young people the opportunity to practice life skills and experience their future in a fun way.  

“The curriculum was adapted from the University of Florida IFAS Extension,” says Carrie Johnson NDSU Extension interim assistant director and family and community wellness program leader. “Students learn how to explore career options, the difference between gross and net income, how to make a deposit and balance a bank account, the advantages and disadvantages of credit, the components of a credit report and credit score, the different parts of a budget and more.”  

“During LOMO, students are encouraged to make wise consumer choices, based on lifestyle choices similar to the decisions that adults face daily,” says Caroline Homan, NDSU Extension agent in LaMoure County. “The program allows students to learn, do, reflect and apply important life skills.”  

A simulation is held yearly with seniors from Kulm and Edgeley Public Schools. Thirteen community volunteers manage stations and assume roles such as realtors, bankers, car salesperson, grocers and more.  

“Students comment that they had no idea how expensive childcare is, and they are motivated to wait to have children until they have the financial resources to adequately provide for a child,” says Homan. “Other students have shared that they didn’t realize how stressful it can be to make financial decisions, and they have more empathy for their parents.”  

“Our community loves this program and being involved because they enjoy working with the students and feel the lessons learned about budgeting are so valuable,” says Brandy Klusmann, Kulm Public School counselor.  

“When I visit with college students, they often wish they had worked harder at time management and budgeting,” says Klusmann.  

“Living On My Own definitely helps students to learn budgeting and address life skills.”  


Carrie Johnson, 701-231-8593, 

Caroline Homan, 701-883-6080,

Top of page