According to a study by HSBC Bank USA, two out of three consumers wanted to reduce “indulgent” spending. Four out of five of those surveyed wished to save more money. That’s healthy financial thinking, but how do these desires become habits? The equation is simple: in order to save more, you need more money. You can work more hours or find a higher paying job. Easier said than done. You can also adjust your spending habits. Those surveyed could fulfill both their desires by reducing the amount they spend on non-essential items and entertainment and putting that money into a savings account or other investment options.
My blog will now focus on advice to educators whether they be college professors teaching a student success class or high school teachers working with advisory. On LifeBound’s new website, we feature parent blogs and college students and high school students who offer ways to successfully navigate educational challenges. Each of the education blogs will correspond to the same themes featured in the parent and student blogs.
Today’s educator blog entry is an activity for middle and high school students that allows them to take a look at their frivolous spending habits and think of creative ways to still have fun while cutting back on costs._____________________________________________________________________________________________ Materials:
- Writing Materials
- Print out worksheet (optional)
- Middle school to high school
- In this activity students will come up with creative ways they can have fun with friends. The sooner students start thinking about spending as a thrifty and creative challenge, the more likely they are to make smart shopping part of their healthy financial habits in the present and future.
How can you have fun by yourself or with friends without spending money?
Going out to dinner with friends adds up, a ticket to the amusement park can put a dent in your monthly budget, and going to the movie theater can cost more than buying the DVD. Not only does spending money hurt your wallet, it doesn’t always feel good. Asking your parents for money gets old (for both parties involved!), forking over your hard-earned dollars for entertainment seems wrong, and denying invites to social gatherings just to save a few bucks isn’t worth the cost. We are in tough economic times which require all of us-students, parents, educators, business people and those running non-profits—to be as creative as possible to stretch every penny and every dollar.
Change your perspective: what if you could do the things you enjoy and save money?
Activity: All the Fun at a Fraction of the Cost
Give students 10 minutes to record the activities they enjoy doing with their friends that cost money. Students can record their lists in a class journal or you can download and print the All the Fun at a Fraction of the Cost worksheet (click on link for a printable pdf).When they are done recording their favorite activities, have them get in small groups.
In their groups, each student will share their list and brainstorm with their team inexpensive ways they can participate in their favorite activities that cost.
- Going to the movies: Rent a movie from Redbox and set up a place in the backyard to watch a movie under the stars on the computer.
- Going out to dinner: Throw a dinner party at home. If everyone still wants to go out, get a cheaper treat than dinner, like ice cream.
- Hanging out with friends: Instead of going to the diner, coffee shop, or mall, go to the park.
- Getting cultured: Look up free days at museums and gallery openings. Public libraries, museums, and bookstores often hold free events.
Depending on group and class size, have each group choose between 5-10 of their most creative and fun ways they can hang out with their friends and save. Each group presents their top choices to the class. Ask the class to prioritize them individually and then vote on the highest priorities as a group. Write the collective responses on the board. A week later, ask the class to report back on what they did, how it felt, and what they would share with others about having fun without spending much money.