As a wise man once said, "Money don't get everything it's true, but what it don't get I can't use." Still others say, "Money is the root of all evil." Like a lot of things, maybe the truth is somewhere in between.
But instead of talking about it, let's take a look at what you value and how your ideas of money, spending, and saving, all fit together.
Try doing each of the activities below in the order they are listed. The important this is not for you to find the right answer, but to find your right answer.
At the end of the numbered activities, concluding questions are raised to help you think even more deeply about this subject.
If you want an idea of how you're doing on the activities, you can use the evaluation rubric for feedback.
- What do you want? Browse through the online store and find something you'd like to buy. (We suggest not buying it while you're at school ;-)
- What is the item and what does it cost?
- How important or valuable would you say this item is to you?
- Lunch Savings Calculator (by Hugh Chou)
- Do you buy lunch or bring it from home?
- Estimate what your lunch costs and what a cheaper, but healthy, alternative could be.
- Use the Lunch Savings calculator to see what you could save over a few years. Is the item from #1 above worth "brown bagging" for?
- Simple Loan Repayment Calculator (from Hugh Chou)
- Suppose what you want costs more than what you could save by scrimping on lunch for a year.
- Use the Simple Loan calculator to see if you could repay a loan that would help you buy something pretty expensive.
- Is what you want worth going into debt for and repaying with interest?
- College Costs School Affordability Analyzer
- Let's say you want to go to college.
- Use what you know about a college or choose one from US News's online database.
- Fill in the College Cost Affordability Analyzer to see what you can expect to pay.
- Why Budget? (from Budget Central)
- What's do you think the big idea behind budgeting is?
- From the link above, which of the given reasons to budget do you agree with most?
- Is the item you found at the mall worth saving for? How about a college education?
- Compound Interest Calculator
- Say you get an allowance or earn money on a regular basis. Maybe you have or will have a part time job.
- Estimate or dream up how much you get and how much of that do you keep? (yes, we mean the "s" word - "save" ;-)
- Use the applet linked above to see what you could gain if you saved even a small amount over a period of years. Move the sliders around to experiment. Does this make you feel more or less like saving??
Everyone makes choices in life about what's important. Money sometimes relates to this. Things like nice clothes, CDs/games, entertainment, cars, trips, education, houses, families, all these things take money.
You will get to decide how you're going to pay for the things you value in life. Will you save for them and then buy them paying cash? Will you apply for loans and pay back the money with interest? When will you pay cash and when will you decide it's worth going into debt? In other words
What's it worth to you?
Guess what? You're not the only one you have to worry about. Not only will you probably fret over your family and friends, but you also have to worry about your Uncle Sam. Yup, the US government is counting on you for a handout. Call it taxes, a bailout, the new economy or poor planning, but the US government is sitting on a huge debt. And look who's footing the bill!
Created January, 2000. Last revised February, 2005
Created by Tom March, tom at ozline dot com
Applications Design Team/Wired Learning