The other evening, I found myself standing in front of eight 5th grade Cub Scouts talking about a topic all of them were looking forward to all year: Budgeting! Okay, maybe it wasn’t as cool as mixing baking soda and vinegar for a science experiment like the week before, but to me it was just as exciting! J One of the Cub Scout Laws is to “be thrifty” - which I love. I love how the Cub Scouts recognize that 10 and 11 year old’s should be learning about the importance of money management now rather than after it’s too late. Here’s a glimpse of what I covered with them. Even though we didn’t blow anything up, I think they actually did enjoy the lesson.J
1. I passed out a simple budget form for them to take home and fill out. Income: birthday money, allowance, etc. Expenses: movie ticket, candy, video game rental etc. Just something easy for them to get use to keep track of their money.
2. We talked about generic vs. name brand. I brought in a store brand and a name brand can of soup. Together we looked at the how similar the ingredients are and discussed how much more expensive a name brand can be. We also talked about looking in ads for sales and clipping coupons to save even more money.
3. We discussed family expenses. They live in a warm house, watch tv, use the wifi, and take hot showers, but do they know that each one of those things are expenses for their family? We also talked about extras like going out to dinner, the cost of being on a sports team and vacations. Every few months I have Ty help me pay the bills. Now, not with his own money of course. But I have him sit down with me and open the bills and help me input them into our Bill Pay system. It won’t be long before he is on his own paying his own bills and I want him to be prepared.
4. Lastly, we discussed the Save, Spend, Share method. Earn some money? Split it into three categories. Spend some of it (if you’d like), save some of it for the future or for a future purchase and share some of it with others. All very important in a relationship with money.
Talking about money and budgeting doesn’t have to be boring, it can be fun. All I hope is that each Cub Scout came away from our meeting with a little something that will help them in their future!