Financial skills, while they may not be the most exciting of topics for your youth, are vitally important for their future.
You may incorporate financial lessons into your regular youth work sessions – for example, when you complete a youth group fundraiser you may take some or all of your youth with you to the bank to learn how to fill out a deposit slip. Or you may decide to hold stand alone financial awareness sessions. If so, here is one activity to help make your session practical and fun!
Take some time to teach your youth about what a budget is, how it works and why they might need one.
Budget Info Tips
- A budget is a way to keep track of the money that is coming in (from your job, parents, loans or welfare/benefits) and what is going out (food, rent, bills, movies, car, public transport, etc)
- Identify how much they have coming in (you can even give them a pretend salary and expenses role play to help them understand the important expenses that come with being an adult) and how much they have going out. Some youth may already have a job and expenses that they pay for with that job, so when possible use real life examples.
- Help them identify saving (around 10% if possible) of their income for emergencies and/or retirement.
- If you work with a faith-based youth group you may want to encourage them to include a 10% tithe, or for other youth possibly giving to charity in their budget.
Once they understand the basics and have the important information, get them to create brochures or a website to teach other youth about the financial skill of budgeting. They could even create a series of brochures and web pages if you offer more than one youth work session on financial skills.
Using a computer is a fun and easy way to create a brochure, plus the young people will be learning useful IT skills. However, it’s possible to use the traditional method of paper, glue, markers and magazine pictures or drawn images. Often youth don’t work with these mediums anymore and it can be a welcome break from technology.
One useful tool for Financial Awareness skills in the UK is UK Youth’s Financial Awareness Toolkit. Some ideas may be helpful for youth programs worldwide, although the specific worksheets and financial terms are UK specific.
Question: What activity would you use in a financial skills session plan? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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