Full Time Mode and Graduation!

With the next major update to the PersonalFinanceLab Budget Game, your students can graduate from school and start their Full Time Jobs!

How It Works

If you have used the Budget Game before, your class would have taken on the role of college students with a part-time job. They would be working variable hours each week, and have had roommates to keep their bill costs down.

With the new Full Time Mode, your students will take on the role of a freshly-graduated student who just started their first full-time job. From a student’s perspective, the new additions include:

  • Consistent Hours – students will always work 40 hours per week for bigger, and more consistent, paychecks.
  • New Bills – full time workers now have to make Health Insurance and Student Loan payments. These bills come up near the start of each month, and students need to be careful on how they prioritize their bills to make sure they can always hit their savings goals!
  • More Expenses – students no longer have roommates, which means their rent and utility bills go up substantially.
  • Professional Development – instead of “studying”, students have the option to conduct “Professional Development” on the weekends to build new skills useful for their job. If they build enough new skills, they can earn a raise at their job!
  • New Events – the “life events” throughout the game also get updated once students enter the workforce, with dozens of new (and often very expensive) events coming into play.


With this update, your class can get the best of both worlds. Teachers can have their class start the game in the “part-time mode”, where they act as a college student with a part time job. As the teacher, you can say that every student “Graduates” into the full-time workforce after a certain amount of time.

A typical class would have the students start out with a part-time job, graduate after 6 or 12 months, and continue as a full-time worker for an additional 6 or 12 months, as your class time allows.

Transition to Full Time

When a student graduates, they are given a “Congratulations” screen, and informed that they are transitioning to the full time workforce. Key elements of the transition period include:

  • Students need to move out of their old place and to a new part of the city. They will have to pay fees to break their old lease, and choose new options for their bills.
  • Extra time students spend “studying” as a student count towards “Professional Development” when they start their job. If they studied hard, they might start their full-time job with a bigger salary than the rest of the class!
  • New thresholds are added for their Emergency Fund. Saving an additional $1500, $2000, and $5000 will earn students even more points.
  • Their credit score, quality of life score, and savings bonus points all carry over – every action taken as a student can impact their new life as a worker!

Behind The Curtin

As the teacher, you still have complete control over your class, so you can tweak all settings to reflect your town or city’s reality. You can separately set the wages and “base” bill amounts for everything, both for while students have their part-time job and full-time job.

But don’t worry – we have default settings that work well for almost every class!

As the teacher, you have complete control of your class’s game modes. You can have students start immediately with their full-time job (skipping the “college student” phase entirely), include the transition period of Graduation, or continue to use the Part-Time mode only, depending on the objectives for your class.

All together, this makes the Personal Finance Lab Budget Game the most realistic and engaging way to teach your class how to manage their money and prepare for the road ahead! If you don’t have a license for PersonalFinanceLab yet, or need a renewal, request a quote with the form below!

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