I'm stealing this from TD, but it really is so important: "kids who don't know money, become adults who don't know money". While children have often yet to learn about long-term consequences, youth are fully aware and capable of becoming financially literate.

So, we treat them like adults.

But that's part of the problem - they aren't adults. Throwing them into the deep end may do more harm than good, since they're overwhelmed right from the start. What's more, the Earth is their planet; they also have to think about the impact of their choices on the environment. That's a lot to think about!

Then, should we treat them like kids?

Once again, we don't believe that's the solution. The solution, and inspiration behind our hack, is that youth should be taught life skills, but in a way that truly impacts them positively right from the start. Informative games, intermixed with direct feedback, makes sure that the youth see the direct impact of their actions, both on themselves, and on the environment, and teaches them that even small changes can make a big difference.

What it does

Our hack is kind of like a multi-part adventure. You start off at the Typeform, and then move on to the game, and then finish off with some final feedback.

The Typeform asks questions to the player about their lifestyle. For the player, this enforces critical thinking and self-awareness. It also tailors the game to give them challenges more fit for their lifestyle, so that they can receive more applicable feedback.

The game is kind of like Sort the Court, a game in which the player is a king trying to keep his kingdom thriving. Along the way, his subjects come to him with problems, and he is to answer with either "yes" or "no". Simple enough, except that every choice he makes will cost money, prestige, or population. In our game, though, players are to make the choices that best reflect their life, thus reflecting their impact on the world through their choices.

After every choice, feedback is given with relation to their choices. It offers advice on how to better manage their money, reduce carbon footprint, or perhaps just to encourage the player to keep making good choices.

Overall, our hack does one main thing: it promotes financial literacy. Just keep in mine, though, you can't discount the fact that our choices must be a balance between sustainability of finances, and sustainability of the Earth!

How we built it

Instructions on how to build a limited edition SheHacks IV Sustainable Spending game:

Step 1: Brainstorm. Make sure you get all the ideas out, good or bad. Step 2: Discuss. See if you can get the best of every idea. Step 3: Design. Make sure everyone understands what's happening, even if just on a high level for now. Decide what technologies you will be using. Draw out screens to mock up your final product. Step 4: Delegate. Work to everyone's comfort zones, strengths, and learning goals! Step 5: Implement. If you run into challenges, solve them together using pair programming. Remember to take breaks to clear your mind. Step 6: Testing. There will 100% be bugs, especially if you're using new technologies. Keep testing it, and do your best to make sure it works.

Challenges we ran into

node.js, the formidable mount. We tried out best to summit, asking for the help of many. Suggestions were made - pug and express, to name a couple - but it would be left undefeated once more.

It was our first time going as in-depth into node.js as we did, so the biggest challenge we had was connecting the front- and back-end code using the HTTP requests. node.js in general took a lot of research, and we gained a lot of knowledge through the Google searches and through the mentors. This giant challenge gave us the chance to learn HTTP GET and POST requests, which will definitely be very helpful in the future, since RESTful actions are used very often!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We managed to learn so much at SheHacks IV and make cool new friends (the six cute therapy dogs - Elsa, Zoe, Mulligan, Leilah, Trigger, Sophie) and each other, of course!

What we learned

Razielle learned GitHub basics, what a hackathon is, and Bootstrap. Carmela learned how to adapt and overcome when things don't go the right way, especially when learning. Maria learned how to finally do back-end things on her own this hackathon.

What's next for Sustainable Spending

  • User profile page so they can create an actual tangible budget
  • Badges for completing specific sustainable or budget-friendly tasks
  • Link to reliable, youth-friendly, and informative resources on budgeting
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