Sample Class Activity
One: Values Ranking
· The goal of this activity is to raise your awareness of what you value and how these values affect your financial decisions. Take time to read each choice carefully and reflect on why you have chosen it.
· Now, let's get started. Click here to begin the ranking activity online. Using your mouse, click on an item and drag it onto the ranking sheet. You can change your mind and move items around as many times as you like. There are no right or wrong answers so be as honest as possible.
· As you choose each item, discuss the reason(s) for your choices. This discussion will help everyone know about what each of you values and can help make financial decisions. You can print the activity sheet to use as a resource when an Internet connection is not available.
· Click here to download a printable copy of the Values Ranking activity.
Two: Spend-a-Penny: Budget Basics
· The goal of this activity is to provide a hands—on budgeting experience. It's fun and easy to play! The categories included are the basic items you need to consider when developing a budget. The great thing about this activity is that you are in control of how much you spend and can decide on what you want to spend your pennies. Take time to read each category and notice how much each of these items will cost. Remember, don't spend too much!
· OK, let's begin. Click here to begin the Spend-a-Penny activity online. Use your mouse to click on the number of pennies you want to spend. As you review your expenses think about your short and long term financial goals. You may be thinking that instead of pennies the game should involve dollars but remember that "every penny counts."
· This is a fun and easy to understand game to make learning about budgeting fun. You can even "make it real" by printing the activity and using real pennies to play the game.
· Click here to download a printable copy of the Spend-a-Penny activity.
Three: Benefit-Cost Analysis
· The Benefit-Cost Analysis chart provides one technique that can be used to help you make any kind of financial decision. As you list all of the benefits and costs of a particular choice or decision you can begin to see if the benefits outweigh the costs in a clear manner. Writing out each side of your decision also gives you the opportunity to reflect on whether this decision is based on your "needs" or your "wants" and will allow you to proceed accordingly. After listing all the benefits and costs of your decision you can then think about whether or not you have made a good choice.
· So let's begin, click here to print the Benefit-Cost Analysis worksheet. Write your decision in the space provided. Now, begin to list the benefits and the costs of your decision. Remember, a cost is something you give up, and a benefit is something you get. If benefits outweigh the costs, then the decision may be a good one for you to make.
· By sitting down and going through this process together, you can model a great decision making (problem solving) strategy for your student.
Four: Spending Leaks
The first important step in setting a budget is to review how you are spending your money now. Many people find themselves asking "Where did all my money go?" each month. You can use the Spending Leaks table to help identify gaps in your budget. This easy to use table will allow you to see very quickly where your money is going and how much you are spending. It even provides a column where you can begin to make decisions on how to stop that leak.
Click here to download and print the Spending Leaks worksheet. Begin by placing a check mark next to statements that describe things you do. In the next column, estimate how much this leak costs you each month.
For example: a cup of coffee from the shop costs € 1
€1 X 5 times per week=€5 or €20 per month
€20 per month X 12 months in a year=€240
Once you have studied the list of items, placed your check marks and estimated the costs, add up all the items (costs) and multiply this total by 12. This is how much your spending leaks cost you in an entire year. Just think what you could have done with that money! Now, go back and write down how you plan to plug each leak. Be creative, and remember, practice makes perfect, so try this each month to chart your progress.