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Money Well Spent 1 hour 30 min

  • Level 2

Additional Materials: Chart Paper, Markers, Scratch Paper

Part One: Introduction Activity

Have each student write out a list of the last ten things they spent money on, the amount of money they spent on each item, and if they used cash or credit. This will require them to retrace their steps until they remember their last ten expenditures.

Have each student write out a list of the last ten things they spent money on, the amount of money they spent on each item, and if they used cash or credit. This will require them to retrace their steps until they remember their last ten expenditures.

Divide the class into groups of 4-5. Each group should be given a poster board/piece of chart paper and a marker for group notes.

Money well spent

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The group will compare each student’s purchasing lists and group the purchases by commonalities. For example, all food purchases should be grouped together and totaled for the group as a whole.

Once all common purchases have been grouped together, each category should be listed on the group’s poster paper, including all items and the total for each category. Have students annotate what items were purchased with cash or credit.

A grand total for the amount of money each group has spent should be written at the bottom of each poster paper. Have students note how much of that total was spent via cash and how much was spent via credit.

Display each group’s posters organized from the lowest total amount to the highest total amount spent. Ask the class which group should win. NOW allow students to decide amongst themselves what constitutes “winning” – is it the group that spent the least? The most? Purchased the most meaningful things? Spent the most cash? Used the most credit? Make them decide and agree as a group what constitutes winning when it comes to spending money. Your job is to challenge their thinking at every turn. Always be the “devil’s advocate”.

Part Two

Write three words on the board: MONEY, THINGS, EXPERIENCES

Hand each student a post-it note and have each student write his/her name on it. Then have the students place their post-it notes under the word that they feel is the most important of the three. 

Lead a classroom discussion on why each choice has legitimacy. End the discussion by saying:

“The only way to have money is to not spend money. Everyone needs to have money for emergencies. We also need money to buy things. We need some things and we want others. Being able to choose which things to purchase to meet your needs and to satisfy your wants will determine how much money you have or don’t have. Then there are experiences. Those are the things that money can’t buy, although many of them cost money, either directly or indirectly. 

The point of these next few lessons is going to be about how to spend money wisely when you have to spend money. Finding the balance of having money, buying things, and creating experiences is sometimes very hard to do. Your daily money spending decisions have more to do with determining your wealth than even the amount of money you make.”

Part Three: Closure (REFLECTION ENTRY)

After reading the quote, have students think about their FYG Lifestyle Assessment (which was taken in Unit 1, Activity 3) and ask them these questions: 

How much money will it take to save and/or spend to reach their desired lifestyle? 

Why is this important? 

What first steps will you need to take to start on the path to successfully funding your lifestyle?

Money well spent reflection

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