Budgeting 101

I’ll be honest. I did 6 months of Adulting 101 classes with little to not-so-stellar results. I covered things like opening a bank account, interviewing 101, making a resume, and college applications with very low turn out. (Thankfully, Regina’s Life Skills sessions didn’t flop as badly as mine & she’ll be talking about hers in a couple weeks! ) In fact, I thought all my spring sessions would be a wash, but to my shock, one managed to succeed: Budgeting 101.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t have HUGE numbers, but I increased my 3 participatants to 6. Not a large number, but one I was happy to do a session for, especially since I was the one teaching it. I will admit that until a couple days before the program we didn’t have enough teens to run it, but a whole bunch signed up last minuted. Originally, I had planned something a bit more elaborate, but decided to scale it down.

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to give the kids a full budgeting experience, but I wanted to give them a taste. I started by creating a prezi where I first explained the general idea of the 50/20/30 idea. I explained it wasn’t an exact science and the chart I included was a bit different but broke down the general categories nicely. I also talked about how most financial experts recommend having 3-4 months of expenses in savings. I did explain that cost will vary from city to city and that the bigger the city the higher the costs.

Next, I had the pick the necessities like jobs, home, transportation, & grocery. Then they had the extra must pays like utilities, student loans, laundry, etc. Lastly, they got to pick from optional expenses like Hulu, Netflix, phone service & the like.

Once they had their standard monthly income and expenses down, I started to add in event items. I had 10 in all and ranged from good to bad. Some examples that I had were flat tires, weddings, broken bones (only had to pay if they didn’t have insurance), and concert tickets. Some times were an option, like the concert tickets, but others they had to pay such as the wedding.

The 6 teens I had ranged quite a bit in age. My youngest 2 were in 6th grade and my oldest was in 12th. There was a bit of reality check, especially for the younger ones, into what into basic monthly expenses. I sent them all home with a budgeting sheet for teens since it’s never too early to start tracking expenses and making a budget.

All the teens asked me do another session on this, but make it longer. I had thought an hour would be plenty, but they wanted me to make it a bit more complicated and really get into the nitty gritty of it all. If I do it again, I think I may include things like apartment applications as well, so they can see how they were set up. While this session was a very basic set-up, I was pleased with the results and will most likely will do it again in the fall.

Have you done a Budgeting 101 class? If so, let me know how yours went!

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