What is causing Inflation? When will it end?

Why are prices going up for food, gas, and housing? Why are prices rising and who is it hurting? Why is everything so expensive? What is causing inflation, and when will inflation end?

CONCEPTS

Use this video on the topic to discuss the financial economic concepts of

  • Inflation
  • Supply and Demand
  • Consumer Price Index
  • Federal Reserve Bank

 

PROCEDURE

Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have and have them complete the worksheet.  Then have a discussion about inflation, it impact on the economy, businesses, and individuals.  Discuss each of the questions mentioned in the video.  Review the questions on the worksheet.

 

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GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

TIME REQUIRED

50 minutes

What is causing Inflation?

Wherever you look these days, there are headlines about Inflation, and most Americans are worried. It is a difficult task to grasp inflation, even though we keep hearing about it in the news. Even those who have been studying the economy and markets for many years don’t completely understand how inflation works. Its effects on society, from who wins to who loses to whether it’s good news or bad news, are complex.

What is inflation?

Inflation refers to a decrease in purchasing power over time. Basically, it means that your money won’t let you buy as much later as it does today. The annual price change for  goods and services is called inflation. One main measurement of inflation  in the United States is the  Consumer Price Index, or C.P.I.   It measures the price of  consumers out-of-pocket purchases. 

Some consumer price inflation can be considered desirable. This is because it allows companies to adapt to changing economies, where labor and commodities may cost more. But inflation that is too high, like we are having, can cause problems.

What is the cause of high inflation?

High inflation in the short-term can be caused by a hot economy. This is one where people have access to a lot of credit and are willing to spend. Businesses may have to increase prices if consumers are purchasing goods and services quickly enough. Companies may decide to raise prices because they know they can increase profits and keep customers.

However, inflation can rise or fall depending on economic developments.  Problems in the supply chain can cause goods to be out of stock, which can lead to higher prices.

The coronavirus, which has caused factories to close down and clogged shipping routes, has also contributed to a decrease in the supply of things like cars and , and have pushed prices higher. 

It is also true that consumers who have collectively saved a lot of money through months of lock-down and repeated government stimulus checks are spending strongly, which is contributing to some inflation.

Meanwhile, officials claim they don’t yet see any evidence that rapid inflation has become a permanent feature in the economy’s economic landscape. This is despite prices rising very rapidly. 

Now, there are many reasons to believe the price surge will recede. The increase in prices this year is largely due to a shortage of goods, including food, cars, and electronics. These will likely decrease as companies find ways to produce and transport the goods people want to purchase in an economy that has been affected by a pandemic. Many households have also built up savings due to repeated stimulus payments. However, they could eventually exhaust these.

Also, There are worrying signs that inflation might be becoming more persistent, which could mean that it will continue to rise rather than diminishing over time. As home prices have increased, rents have gone up and potential buyers have been locked out of purchasing homes. Although consumers are gradually anticipating higher prices, long-term inflation expectations have not yet risen significantly.

Long-term,  high inflation can become entrenched when workers start to expect it and are able to negotiate wage increases to offset rising costs. If companies are facing rising labor costs, they may be able to pass these costs on to consumers, and you end up with a situation in which prices and pay go up.

What does inflation mean for the poor?

This becomes especially difficult for people who are poor. Poorer people can have a hard time coping with high or unpredictable inflation that’s not outmatched by wage increases. This is simply because they have less flexibility. The poor spend  more on their necessities, such as food, housing, and gas.  An impoverished family might be forced to reduce essentials like food.

Inflation can also be a problem for many businesses. Businesses without pricing power, which means they can’t pass costs on to customers easily, suffer the most because they have to absorb increases in input cost by taking a hit with their profits.

To help fight inflation, the central bank, the federal reserve, typically will raise interest rates. Inflation can cause the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to try to cool down the economy and slow down demand. The problem is that the central bank could also raise interest rates too much, which could lead to a recession which would make things difficult for everyone.

The hope is that the fed can increase interest rates, to slow the economy, while at the same time not slowing it too much causing a recession, while the rate of inflation returns to a more normal level.

 

 

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Getting Ready for Taxes: Documents you Need

The first step towards filing your tax return is to gather all the documents that you will need.  Here, students learn what documents, paperwork, and receipts are needed to file your income tax return.  It is a checklist of documents for completing IRS form 1040 Income tax.  Learn to prepare and organize your tax documents, including the W-2 and 1099. Income tax 101.

Examples of important documents. To get started, you will need to gather all the documents you will need for filling out your tax forms. Whether you are doing your taxes yourself, or you are meeting with your tax advisor, this is an overview of some of the more typical documents you will need to gather.

CONCEPTS

Use this video on the topic to discuss the financial concepts of

  • Taxes
  • Getting ready for taxes.
  • Important financial documents, paperwork, and receipts.

 

PROCEDURE

Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have and have them complete the worksheet.  Then have a discussion about the documents needed for filing taxes.  Discuss each of the categories mentioned in the video and highlight the important documents for each.  Review the questions on the worksheet.

 

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GRADE LEVEL

9-12, Young adults

TIME REQUIRED

30 minutes

Getting Ready to File Taxes – Documents you need

Getting ready for filing taxes can seem overwhelming.  To get started, you will need to gather all the documents you will need for filling out your tax forms.  Whether you are doing your taxes yourself, or you are meeting with your tax advisor, here is an overview of some of the more typical documents you will need to gather. 

These are the main categories of items that you will need.  We will step through each one in more detail. The challenge of gathering all the information you need to file your tax return for the year can be simple or more time consuming, depending on your financial situation. For example, if you are single and rent, it likely will be easier, but if you are married, self-employed, own a home, and have children, will need to spend more time on the tax filing process.

Personal Information

You will need personal information, including  the social security numbers for you, your spouse, and any dependents.

Bank account information including bank account number and routing information.

Your federal and state taxes from last year. These documents are helpful to remember the information you filed last year and the documents that you used.

If you are meeting with a tax preparer, and it is the first time, then you will also likely need a photo ID, and other personal information for everyone on your tax return. 

Income

You will need all documents that verify the money you received in the past year.

This includes W-2 forms, which employers must send by January 31st.  If you held a regular job, your employer will send you this form. You’ll get one form from each employer if you worked for multiple ones in the same year. This form details your earnings, and the amount of income tax that was withheld from your pay.

1099 forms.  There are many different types of 1099 forms that you may receive, depending on the type of payment.  Typical ones include 1099-INT for interest, and 1099-MISC for contract work.

While the Internal Revenue Service already knows the amount of income you have earned last year, it still just needs you to verify it on your tax return. Anybody who paid you more that $600 in the previous year must let the IRS know.

If you have received income but did not receive a return with supporting information, you should contact the entity that paid you or your employer.

Deductions

You can reduce your taxable income by taking deductions. This generally results in a lower tax bill. Documentation is the key to claiming deductions. It can help you avoid being audited and can reduce your tax bill by reminding you what you should claim. It may be time-consuming, but it is likely worth the time.

Here are some of the most popular tax deductions. Before you file, make sure you have the supporting documentation.

Mortgage interest and property taxes for your home.

Classroom expenses. You can deduct  for classroom supplies if you are a teacher or another eligible educator.

Charitable donations. Have your receipts for charitable donations.

Medical bills. Tax savings may be possible for medical costs if they exceed a certain amount of your adjusted gross income.

Contributions to retirement accounts. Contributions to a traditional IRA and self-employed retirement account can be deducted if they are within the allowed contribution limits.

Taxes that are local and state taxes. Other taxes can be deducted, including state and local income taxes or sales taxes. Keep your receipts to prove that you paid the tax on major purchases.

Credits

Next are tax credits. They offer dollar-for-dollar reductions in any tax you owe. You will need to provide documentation in order to claim credits, just like deductions. These are some of the most popular tax credits.

To claim some tax credits, you will need to have received a Form 1098 detailing the expenses paid. This is especially important for those available for education. You will need to keep accurate records of your spending so that you can claim other credits.

Payments

If you were employed, you likely have inc ome taxes withheld from your paychecks to pay our tax liabilities. This amount can be found on your W-2 forms.

If your made estimated tax payments throughout the year, you should also have that information.

Letters from the IRS

Have any letters you may have received from the past year from the IRS.   This includes letters related to any tax credits, or any other letters you may have received.

Self-Employment Income

It is especially important to keep receipts if you earn income as an independent contractor. If you have income as an independent contractor, you can claim a number of business expenses on Schedule C that are ordinary and necessary for doing business.

Summary

This is just a summary of the documents that many will need. There may be others that you may require depending on your financial situation. We suggest you visit the IRS website or consult with your own tax advisor if you need help. It’s a good idea to organize all your tax documents as soon as possible to make it easier once you begin working on filing your taxes.

Learn what documents you need to file your 2021 income tax returns for 2022 tax season.

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Spending Money Wisely: Dog goes to Super Bowl

A dog goes to the Super Bowl. A fun class or lesson starter for the YouTube and TikTok generation. Discuss with students if price discounts are really a good deal, or just a pricing trick?

CONCEPTS

Use this video on the topic to discuss the money concepts of

  • Needs and wants
  • Understanding discounts
  • Making impulsive purchases
  • Spending Money

 

PROCEDURE

Show students the video and have and then have a discussion about impulse buying and needs and wants.

 

Watch on YouTube

Watch on YouTube Shorts

Watch on TicTok

Watch on Instagram

GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

TIME REQUIRED

20 minutes

Impulse Purchasing Background

Is it possible to buy an item without even thinking about it? You buy an item without thinking about the consequences. Most people impulse buy, whether it’s a big purchase like Super Bowl tickets in this case, a like a car or a small one like new clothes. Retailers market themselves online  with impulse buying in mind.

A small impulse purchase, such as shirt, can be harmless. However, impulse spending on an even larger scale can cause ineffective budgeting, loss savings and poor financial planning. This is money that you can instead use to  pay your apartment or home utility bills or use to save for college.

Emotional state is a key factor in an impulse purchase. Emotions can be intense feelings towards someone or something. They are often expressed through facial expressions, such as anger, fear, delight and enthusiasm.

Consumers’ buying habits can be affected by both negative and positive emotions. It was originally believed that happiness preceded impulsive purchases, causing joy and pleasure. Impulse buying can be used to relieve stress, fatigue and other negative emotions in certain situations. Impulse purchases can be made when you are able to gain face or prestige in a social setting. People who feel embarrassed, anxious, rejected or ashamed may also buy on impulse if they lose their face.

People resist the urge to eat snacks, go to bed, or impulse buy. Self-control refers to the ability not only to ignore one’s thoughts and emotions but also to control your actions. A standard is a way to set a shopping goal. A shopper might go to a shop to purchase a suit for a wedding or to make a list of things to buy at the grocery store. Uncertain goals make shoppers more likely to lose self-control. Monitoring the process or tracking spending and behavior. Monitors are less likely for shoppers to buy impulse items.

What motivates impulse shoppers? You feel like you are getting a deal. Impulse buying does not always require spending a large sum of money on expensive products. Many people buy products to save money over the long-term. People mostly would prefer to take advantage of a deal rather than paying full price. Because consumers are price-conscious, sales promotions can have an impact on sales. They are more likely to purchase products with higher savings.

Physical stimuli are also key to driving impulse purchases and can influence consumers’ behavior. A happy environment can encourage customers to shop around and make spontaneous purchases. Positive feelings are associated with higher impulse buying. A store’s music can have a significant impact on customer impulse buying and emotions. Customers spend more time in stores with soft background music, which results in more product purchases and a slower pace of shopping. Salespeople who provide customer service and guidance can increase consumer spending. One common tactic retailers employ is to tell customers how satisfied their customers are with their purchases. To encourage impulse buying, they can inform customers about product scarcity, give free samples and trials, or offer money-back guarantee. Sales promotions encourage customers to purchase larger quantities of products. Impulse buying is also influenced by free vouchers and refunds.

It’s difficult to make rational purchasing decisions when we are overwhelmed by emotion such as anxiety, stress, or excitement. Your brain struggles between short-term rewards or long-term goals. The logical side of a person’s brain attempts to reason with them when they see something they need.  However, the emotional side is more focused on the immediate and considers the ultimate reward as instant gratification. Shopping offers consumers instant pleasure and a dose of dopamine. This is the feeling that retailers offer that makes people want to shop.

@moneymittens Dog goes to Super Bowl 2022 Los Angeles Rams Bengals #superbowl #stuffedanimals #dog #funny #fyp #penguin #sofistadium ♬ original sound – money mittens





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Impulse Buying? Dog Orders Chocolate Bar

A dog orders a MrBeast chocolate bar.  Did he win the golden ticket? Here is a fun class or lesson starter for the TikTok or YouTube generation of students on the topics of impulse buying, money and spending.

BACKGROUND

MrBeast is a popular YouTube celebrity your students are likely familiar with.  He recently has started working with a food company, feastables, to market his new chocolate bars and contest he promotes on his YouTube channel.

CONCEPTS

Use this video on the topic to discuss the money concepts of

  • Needs and wants
  • Making impulsive purchases

PROCEDURE

Hand out the worksheet below (see lesson button below).

Show students the video and have them answer the questions on the worksheet.  Then have a discussion about impulse buying and needs and wants.

GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

TIME REQUIRED

20 minutes

Impulse Buying

Is it possible to buy an item without even thinking about it? You buy an item without thinking about the consequences.

Most people impulse buy, whether it’s a big purchase like a car or a small one like a box of chocolate. Retailers market themselves online and design their stores with impulse buying in mind and strategically place common impulse-purchased products.

A small impulse purchase, such as a candy bar, can be harmless. However, impulse spending on an even larger scale can cause ineffective budgeting, loss savings and poor financial planning. This is money that you can instead use to  pay your utility bills or save for college.

More Information on MrBeast and Feastables

Jimmy Donaldson, also known as MrBeast, is a well known YouTuber, a digital creator and philanthropist who has launched Feastables, a healthier snacking brand.  Feastables launched the MrBeast Bar, a chocolate bar made without gluten and containing simple ingredients like organic cocoa.  Donaldson was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease as a child and realized the importance of making high-quality snacks more easily accessible.

The current product portfolio is only the beginning of a larger vision. Donaldson will be Feastables creative visionary. Feastables will host sweepstakes worth over $1,000,000 in prizes and offers. Ten grand prize winners will be chosen to participate in a MrBeast video for a chance to win MrBeast’s Chocolate Factory.  Prices starting from $2.98 for individual bars to $49.99 for bundles.

@moneymittens Dog order MrBeast chocolate bar. Golden ticket win? #dogs #mrbeast #mrbeastchocolate #beastbar #dogslife #chocolate ♬ original sound – money mittens

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Financial Management Skills Assessment


LESSON DESCRIPTION

Students assess their own financial management skills by taking the money management self-assessment.  This assessment will help students identify their current knowledge or money management as well as areas that need instruction regarding money and finances.

Money management is how you manage all aspects of your finances. This includes setting goals for the long-term, making a budget and choosing investments that will help you reach them. Money management does not mean saying no to every purchase. It is about creating a plan that will allow you to say yes to the most important things in your life. If you lack the ability to manage money effectively, any amount of money could prove to be insufficient.

Although it isn’t as difficult as you might think, managing your money well can be tedious. A healthy financial life is just as important as being physically fit. You will not stop trying to live a healthy lifestyle just because you have reached your ideal weight. It’s a constant effort that never ends. Once you reach your goal, it won’t be as hard to maintain it as the previous effort. However, effort is still necessary.

 

PROCEDURE

Print out the money management self assessment worksheet.

Encourage students to be truthful when filling out the assessment, and that their skills may be better than many adults.

After completing the assessment, students should choose one topic from their self-assessment that they would like to improve over the next month. 

Every month, have the students re-take the assessment and evaluate areas they have either improved or areas they still need to improve.

GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

CONCEPTS

  • Understanding spending plans
  • Assessment of spending plans
  • Adjusting spending decisions
  • Personal finance
  • Spending vs. saving

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • Be able to evaluate their spending plans.
  • Understand what influences spending decisions.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.
  • Prioritize their spending decisions

TIME REQUIRED

20 minutes.

Click on the button below to get the worksheet to use with the above lesson. This is a random worksheet. Every time you click, a new worksheet will be created. You may create multiple worksheets using this button.

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Creating a Spending Plan


LESSON DESCRIPTION

Students will use given information to create a monthly spending plan, also known as a budget. In this lesson, they will develop the abilities needed to make an effective plan to budget monthly spending goals.

A spending plan must detail exactly how you are going to use your cash to cover the things you desire. A successful spending plan not just multiplies your chances of succeeding, in addition, it can help to make the journey quicker and simpler.

PROCEDURE

Print out the spending plan worksheet questions and the spending plan worksheet. See the worksheet link and get lesson button below for lesson material.

For the class, introduce spending plans as a means to prepare beforehand for purchases that are planned and to have adequate funds available for unexpected expenditures. Introduce the idea that to make a spending plan, a individual must first describe the anticipated costs and savings targets, and then learn how to pay for those costs with cash gained from jobs, projects, or received from an allowance.

Disperse the Spending Plan worksheets task before you preview the job with the pupils. Ask students how they could fix their costs (or earnings) to make sure they pay their monthly obligations and have cash to put aside for their objectives. Circulate around the room to be certain pupils put the sensible amounts on a budget sheet.

When completed, arrange for your pupils to operate in pairs to compare options. Instruct them to achieve consensus about the best way best to correct the entire income to coincide with the overall expenses. Point out that there isn’t any single approach to balance it provided that the earnings covers the expenses and paying requirements and aims are represented in the worksheet instructions.

Facilitate a brief talk concerning the possible effects of not adhering to a spending program. Guide students to utilize what they’ve learned to produce their own spending strategies for a particular occasion, fiscal aim, or to pay their present monthly expenditures. Direct students to utilize information that’s realistic for their existing situation. For those students that do not have regular income, then organize them to work out a false situation or arrange to utilize information for an present school club undertaking.

GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

CONCEPTS

  • Creating a spending plan
  • Budgeting
  • Adjusting spending decisions
  • Personal finance
  • Spending vs. saving

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • Be able to describe and define a spending plan.
  • Discuss the way the spending plan can help a person handle spending habits.
  • Describe how to use a spending plan. Students will utilize what they know to make a strategy to direct their spending, especially for big purchases.
  • Understand what influences spending decisions.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.
  • Prioritize their spending decisions

TIME REQUIRED

45 minutes.

Spending Plan Worksheet Questions – Click on this link to get the question worksheet to use with the above lesson. Use it with the lesson worksheet below (get lesson button). Note that this is a random worksheet. Every time you select the link, a new worksheet will be created. You may create multiple worksheets using this link.

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Making Spending Decisions about Money


LESSON DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students will learn ways to become mindfully deliberate about their spending choices using the DECIDE process. They will use this model to help them with making a decision for a major spending purchase.

Making spending decisions about how to use your money can be difficult. Sometimes you have to sacrifice what you want now for what you really want afterwards. There might be times when you have to put off your wants to focus on your friend or spouse. There’s rarely an ideal solution and usually trade-offs.

Making decisions concerning cash could be even tougher if you don’t have a steady income. Whatever you can do is make the best choice you can with the information you’ve got at the time.

To help with making decisions, we can use the DECIDE model.


Using the DECIDE steps

The DECIDE model is a tool you may use to help with making decisions. Here are the steps for using the model:

D – Define your Goal
The very first thing to do is to define your goal, the decision that has to be made.

E – Establish Your Choices
Next, you need to research your different choices, and establish your criteria.

C – Consider the Options
As you research options, consider the results of each choice.

I – Identify the Pros and Cons
Identify the pros and cons of each of your options. Take care to identify what’s important and valuable for you so you can make a decision that matches your values and will bring you pleasure.

D – Decide
Make your decision. Once you examine your options and weigh them against your values it’s time to create a decision and act.

E – Evaluate the Results
Evaluate the results of your decision. Reflect on the results of your decision-making process.

PROCEDURE

Have students use the worksheet to complete the DECIDE steps regarding a spending decision about a significant purchase they’re considering in the future. This might be a decision for the student or the student’s family.

Some possible topics for students decisions might be deciding courses, picking out a summer job, dealing with relationships, picking participation in school or community activities, buying a new cell phone.

For a family decision, speak to all pupils individually to be certain they’ve identified a legitimate household decision. Some examples might be, moving, large purchase such as a house or car, deciding how to spend the holiday, etc.

GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

CONCEPTS

  • The DECIDE model for decision making
  • Making spending decisions
  • Personal finance

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • Understand what influences spending decisions.
  • Learn to use the DECIDE model.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.
  • Identify sensible vs. unwise spending
  • Prioritize spending decisions

TIME REQUIRED

20-30 minutes.

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Planning Effective Financial Goals

LESSON DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students learn to figure out their desired financial objectives by planning smart and effective financial goals that will help them achieve their goals. They will set financial goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Many men and women invest, spend, invest, then wonder why they’re short of funds when it’s time to cover the invoices or the reason they never have the money for those things they actually want. If they’d set clear objectives, created plans to achieve them and worked the plans as faithfully as they watch their favorite YouTube channels, they’d be not as stressed and a great deal happier.

If you’re planning an event for your friend, would you just throw it all together at the last moment? No. You would choose the goal (a great event) and work backward to determine everything you’d need to do to make it happen.

Setting goals that are SMART means that you may describe your thoughts, concentrate your efforts, make use of your own time and resources and raise your odds of attaining what you need in life. In this lesson, we will research what SMART goals are, and we are going to have a look at ways to utilize them to attain your objectives.

What Exactly Does SMART goals Mean?
SMART is an acronym which you may use to direct your target setting.
Its standards are generally credited to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives. The earliest known use of this term happens in the November 1981 issue of Management Review from George T. Doran. He said that SMART has come to mean unique things to different individuals.

To Make Sure That Your Objectives are clear and accessible, it needs to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time Bound


The Way to Use SMART

Specific
Your target ought to be clear and unique, otherwise you will not have the ability to concentrate your efforts to feel genuinely motivated to attain it.
What do I wish to achieve? Who’s involved? Where’s it situated? Which tools or limitations are involved?


Measurable
It is important to have quantifiable objectives, so which you may monitor your progress and stay motivated. Assessing progress enables you to stay focused, meet your deadlines, and sense the delight of becoming closer to attaining your objective. A quantifiable goal should address concerns such as: How much? How many? How can I know when it’s accomplished?

Achievable
Your target also should be realistic and achievable to become prosperous. To put it differently, it ought to stretch your skills but still stay possible. When you establish an achievable goal, you might have the ability to identify previously overlooked opportunities or resources which may bring you nearer to it. How do I accomplish this objective? How realistic is your goal, according to additional limitations, such as monetary things?

Relevant
This measure is all about ensuring that your target matters for you personally, and additionally, it contrasts with other pertinent objectives. Most of us need support and help in attaining our objectives, but it is important to keep control over them. Thus, ensure your plans drive everybody ahead, but you’re still accountable for achieving your goal. A relevant aim can answer “yes” to those questions: Is this the ideal moment? Does this fit our additional efforts/needs? Am I the ideal person to accomplish this objective? Is it important in the present socioeconomic atmosphere?

Time-bound
This portion of the smart goal standards helps to stop regular activities from taking priority on your longer-term targets. When? What could I do three months from today? What could I do three weeks from today? What can I do now?

PROCEDURE

Students can do this on their own or in groups. Give each student or group a goal statement or statements (or even make your own statements that may be more relevant to your students). Guide students to use the worksheet to add details to the goal statements.

Guide students to analyze the different elements of this goal and include what is needed for every elements of the “SMART” acronym. Model one rewrite if it is beneficial to get the students started.

Arrange for students or groups to exchange aims to peer review the revised goals for completeness or missing components.

  • Save money to buy a bicycle.
  • Go on a backpacking trip with friends.
  • Visit the local tourist area.
  • Buy a new monitor for my computer.
  • Buy a birthday gift for my mother.
  • etc.

Example to model for the goal-writing process:

Original Goal: To find a pair of jeans.

S= what type of jeans? Possible answer: new pair of jeans

M= Just how much would be the jeans? How long do I have to save? Possible response: The jeans are $60 but the sales person told me they’d go on sale a month at 10 percent off. So, I have one month to spare if I need a cheaper price.

A= What resources do I have available to attain the goal? I know I will earn at least $30 a week doing yard work in the neighborhood.

R= Do I really require a new set of jeans right now? Possible response: my current jeans are worn.

T= When do I need to find these jeans? Possible response: I wish to receive them today, but would rather await the sale price.

New SMART goal: To save $20 a week from my job for the next three weeks to buy a new pair of jeans.

GRADE LEVEL

7-12, Young adults

CONCEPTS

  • Understand spending goals
  • Personal goals and money goals
  • Personal finance

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • Write personal financial goals.
  • Learn to understand SMART goals.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.
  • Identify sensible vs. unwise spending
  • Prioritize spending decisions

TIME REQUIRED

20-30 minutes.

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Spending Log

LESSON DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students keep a log of all their spending for a period of time (day/week/month) to help identify their spending habits and patterns.

How do you spend your money? Understanding your current spending patterns and habits will help you understand how to budget and better manage your money.

Distribute the attached worksheet to students.  Students should be instructed to keep track of their spending for one week. For each item or service they spend money on, they should write the day, time, description of the item or service purchased, dollar amount spent, and the reason they made the purchase. If privacy is a concern, then the item description may be changed to a category rather than a specific item or service.

After the week is over and students have completed the worksheet, have them analyze their spending log to identify trends and habits.

Need or Wants

For each item on the spending log, have the students decide if it is a need or a want. They may write “Need” or “Want” next to each line. Ask the question if each need is a true need or really a want? Can a want become a need?

Monthly activity

Alternately, do this activity for a month, rather than a week. Use separate log pages for each week. Students will have a better idea of their spending patterns if they use a month rather than a week.

Lesson extension

Have students ask a family member to also keep track of their spending using the spending log. Then have them compare their spending to their family member.

GRADE LEVEL

9-12, Young adults

CONCEPTS

  • Understand spending habits
  • Money values and attitudes
  • Personal finance

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • Track their weekly spending.
  • Learn to understand their spending habits.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.
  • Identify sensible vs unwise spending

TIME REQUIRED

Varies. Out of class assignment. 1 week normal time required. 1 month optional. Longer time periods also possible.

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Understanding your Money Habits

LESSON DESCRIPTION

In this lesson, students learn to understand and identify what are their money habits.

Every money decision you make either reinforces good or bad money habits.  The first step toward creating good money habits is to first identify the money habits you currently have.

Distribute the attached worksheet to students.  They should first list the money habits they have, related to spending, saving, and sharing.  Then, they should identify each habit as either good or bad and state the reason why.

Give the students some examples of money habits to help them get started.  For example, seeing an item on sale at the store and buying it even though they did not go to the store for that item.  Or, saving $1 for each $10 they earn in a box they keep at home, etc.

After the students complete the worksheet, have a discussion about the positive and negative habits. What are the positive consequences of the positive habits they identified? What are the negative consequences of the negative habits?

Additional task: For each bad money habit, ask students to identify what they could do to improve that habit? Is there something they could do to replace the habit with another more positive habit?

GRADE LEVEL

9-12, Young adults

CONCEPTS

  • Understand money habits
  • Spending
  • Saving
  • Sharing
  • Money values and attitudes
  • Personal finance

OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • Describe their positive and negative money habits.
  • Learn to understand the difference between wise and unwise habits.
  • Identify ways to improve their spending decisions and behavior.

TIME REQUIRED

20 minutes

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Categories Budgeting, Saving & Investing, Spending Money, Tags , , ,
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