Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Personal Finance - Activity Days

I've recently had the opportunity to take on a role as one of two leaders for 8-11 year olds in my church. The group is called Activity days. Yesterday was my first opportunity to conduct an activity with the girls. We decided to have an activity around personal finances. I was able to make some play checks for the girls to play with. Each girl was given a "life" card that told her her marital status, how many kids she had and her monthly income. The girls would go to a station assigned to a specific bill they would have to pay, i.e. House payment, Car payment, Phone payment, Fuel payment, Grocery bill. At each station the girls would take a card that would tell her the circumstances of that bill, for instance a card might say that their last payment was late and they have a $50 late fee added to their new bill or that they had overpaid last month and had a credit. For the grocery circumstances would be that they had used their club card or coupons and saved money on their bill, or that they had underestimated and needed to spend a bit more. Some girls were lucky to get cards that said they had paid cash for their car and have no car payment. And some girls rode the bus so their transportation bill was minimal. Overall it was a fun night and I think the girls had a good time.

A special thing happened when one of the girls was in the negative according to her checkbook register. Another girl found out and asked if they were allowed to write checks to a friend, when I told her yes you can guess what she did. With her "extra" money she wrote a check to her friend to keep her out of the red (which she ended up in by the end of the evening anyway). The giver whispered in my ear how good she felt to be able to do that for her friend. What a great example these girls are helping one another out in their time of need. So glad I was able to feel the sweet spirit they have to share.

Here is a sample of the play checks the girls used, I think they really liked having their own checks to write out.
A couple of different color options for the girls to choose from. I actually didn't take pictures until after our activity so one of the colors was picked clean. Had I know it would be so popular I would have made more of that color!
  This is a savings thermometer, the girls can track their savings progress. We've actually used this to help our kids see our progress as a family when savings for different things.
 Savings thermometer with "checkbook"
In addition to the "checkbook" and savings thermometer we gave the girls a sample of a checkbook register to help them keep track of their faux checking account.
 Washi tape takes these "checkbooks" from homemade to WOW!
So grateful for my co-leader and her willingness to help keep order while I went over how to write a check and enter it into a register (not the most exciting time of the night), she's AWESOME!.....and so are the girls!

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