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I don’t have enough time to do the budgeting unit. Can anyone recommend one or two activities that can be done independent of the rest of the unit to get across the big ideas?

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Posted by Principato
Asked on January 5, 2016 6:36 am
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Here is a link to a document I like to use – http://www.mcee.umn.edu/sites/mcee.umn.edu/files/mpfd-_units_one-ten.pdf
Unit 5 Budgeting – I like the penny project. Takes a little time setting up but my students really enjoy the hands on approach.

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Posted by jjlucero
Answered on January 5, 2016 7:33 am
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I have used this pdf as a resource for budgeting. http://extension.usu.edu/utah/files/uploads/Finance/THE%20BEAN%20GAME.pdf
It allows students to make decisions and then also see how certain events affect their budgeting decisions.

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Posted by nathanhiebert
Answered on January 11, 2016 11:18 am
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I have also used the Bean Game described above and agree that students love it (have used it with both freshmen and seniors). It’s simple, applicable to all kids and allows them to compare their spending decisions to see if they match their values. They also get a good lesson in wants vs. needs when they find that their budget is cut by 30%. I created some teacher notes for anyone interested: http://nextgenpersonalfinance.org/looking-for-a-great-hands-on-budgeting-activity/

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Posted by Tim Ranzetta
Answered on January 14, 2016 9:13 pm
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We teach budgeting in almost all of our business classes. So before I get to that unit I evaluate what my students know about budgets. That determines how much time we spend on them. We also have an event called Reality Check that our juniors and seniors participate in and it is 100% about budgeting. If you want more information on that please let me know. And in the past I have used H and R Block Budget Challenge http://hrblock.budgetchallenge.com/.

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Posted by jamieschmitz
Answered on January 11, 2016 11:27 am
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I recommend the H&R Block Budget Challenge. The scholarships are nice and a bit of an incentive for the students but love that the program is about as real life as it gets. The students have a 401k that they have to manage as well as a budget cash flow statement and they have to log in regularly and pay bills and decide between different vendors for things like renter’s insurance, bank accounts, cell phone plans, etc. The only drawback are the online weekly quizzes that they take. They are somewhat difficult. Other than that, I teach budgeting with that tool and it works great for me in the classroom.

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Posted by mfsomers
Answered on January 11, 2016 2:38 pm
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I should probably add (see post above) that the simulation is 10 weeks in duration so keeping the kids motivated is hard especially towards the end but I can’t think of a better way to teach budgeting than that. I struggled with teaching it for a long time but it makes it so much easier and is hands on.

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Posted by mfsomers
Answered on January 11, 2016 2:40 pm
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I have used the “Smarties Game” with students that I got from the United Way. A roll of Smarties candy has 15 pieces in it and the game has a board of 8 spending categories. Each category has between 1 to 3 options and the student has to spend at least one in each category. Students find the management of candy difficult because they are used to certain things they have each month so they have to start deciding what is important.

Once they have made those choices, I throw in scenarios where they will have to make cuts because of an unexpected emergency by taking two to three Smarties away from the budget.

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Posted by kossjoe1999
Answered on January 16, 2016 6:51 pm
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