Learn the skills you need to manage your finances as an adult. You’ll choose a career, plan a real-world monthly budget, and spend your paycheck on necessities while saving for the future so you can make your dreams come true.
Take control of your life by learning to make smart financial decisions.
Practical life skills empower you to budget for monthly expenses
Are you a teen or young adult feeling uncertain about making wise financial decisions in the future, and worried you won’t be able to make ends meet? You’re in good company, since many public schools don’t teach practical life skills education anymore.
Middle school and high school classes in home economics, personal finance, wood shop, and driver’s education have disappeared these days, making way for computer classes and college prep courses. This course will teach you to make important financial decisions and manage a monthly budget.
Content and Overview
I designed this course for teens and young adults ages 13 and up who have an interest in learning to manage their finances as an adult. (Or for anyone who wants to learn to budget better.) If you aren’t sure what types of monthly expenses you’ll be facing when you are managing your own household, or are feeling uncertain about how to make wise spending decisions, this class will enable you to feel more empowered and ready for life as an adult.
This hands-on budgeting course will give you a taste of adult life in the “real world” through budgeting & exercises. Starting with a broad overview of financial topics you should understand as a functioning adult in society, this course will take you through a typical month’s budget expenses. You will be able to customize your budget by choosing your career, decide whether you’re single or married, your age, and whether you have children.
First, you’ll choose a career and earn a monthly “income,” or paycheck. Then, you will use a budget worksheet to plan and balance your budget before you begin spending money. Then you’ll write checks and make debit card purchases to pay for housing, transportation, food, insurance, college loans, savings and more, logging all of your expenses in your check register. You will be faced with unexpected expenses, just like in the real world, and learn how to set aside money regularly for savings.
You will learn what to look for when choosing a college, and how to avoid going into too much student loan debt. You’ll understand the different types of insurance and why they're needed, and how to save money when buying a car. You will also discover the costs involved in renting an apartment or buying a home, and will understand how to use credit cards wisely.
The course includes 24 lectures, more than an hour of video lessons, 7 printable worksheets and handouts to give you hands-on budgeting and check writing practice, and other supplemental resources. Each lesson includes hands-on activities to complete after viewing the lecture video.
This budgeting course a great opportunity for you to practice “adulting” and prepare for the future, by giving you the tools you need to turn your dreams into reality.
You’ll receive a certificate of completion upon finishing the course. Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors will earn badge requirements. Cadettes will earn the Budgeting badge & some requirements from the Financing My Dreams badge; Seniors will complete some requirements for the Financing My Future badge and the Buying Power badge; Ambassadors will earn the Own My Own badge and some requirements from the Good Credit badge. Boy Scouts will learn hands-on budgeting as a tie-in to the Personal Management merit badge.
Fill out the worksheet below and choose a career from the included list to determine what the educational requirements and salary are. Learn about taxes, what they're used for and how your benefit.
Learn the difference between debit cards and credit cards. Learn how to write a check and log entries in your check register. Print out the checks and check register documents below to use later in the game. Enter your paycheck in your check register to give you money to spend for your monthly budget.
Print the monthly budget worksheet below and use it throughout the lectures to learn how much you can afford to spend in each budget category, while planning for unexpected expenses. Decide the scenario you'll use for this activity.
Pick a number between 1 and 10 before opening the Treasure Chest cards document. You'll find out what unexpected windfall of money you'll receive.
Pick a number between 1 and 10 before opening the Money Pit cards document. You'll find out what unexpected expense you'll have to spend money on.
Being successful means being able to support yourself financially, as well as being able to be a blessing to others. Start thinking about how much you'll be able to donate to charitable causes that are important to you. You'll decide on an amount later, after you see how much money you have left at the end of the month. The same appliles to your entertainment and luxuries budget.
Learn why it's difficult to afford housing in some areas, and what's involved when renting an apartment or buying a home.
Pay for your monthly utilities. This expense may be divided among roommates.
Learn how to save money on your food budget and decide how often you can afford to eat out.
Learn ways to save money when buying a car, and decide what form of transportation is best for your scenario.
If you have children in your scenario, you'll need to budget for child care expenses.
Learn about the different types of insurance and which ones you need.
Learn some good jobs to pursue without a college degree, and how to choose the best college.
Find out why college loan debt is such a big problem today and how to avoid going into too much debt. Decide on your college scenario and how much debt you choose to take on.
Learn why you should save for the future, and how to get started saving for the long term. See how you can protect yourself for the future.
Decide which forms of communication you need and want.
Think about how your values affect how much you should budget for clothing and grooming.
Find out how much it costs to borrow money on your credit card, and decide how soon you can afford to pay back credit card debt.
Amy Senna has a degree in Communications and Business from California State University, Fullerton. She is a parent of young adult children and has 13 years of experience as a Girl Scout leader. She has taught more than 2000 students, including budgeting and financial management classes for teens in Southern California.