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Extending their learning

More detailed information on a wide variety of personal finance themes can be found in the 'Finance World' dossiers (aimed at young adults 16-18+) and the 'Savings and Lifeskills' fact sheets (aimed at 14-16 year olds). The following ideas could help to further young people's learning and encourage them to put their knowledge into practical use in their daily lives.

Budgeting

  • Ask learners to investigate the cost of travel in their local area (especially a regular journey e.g. to and from school/college/work) and how money could be saved if they planned ahead. For example, young people could consider the cost of daily bus or train tickets compared with weekly, monthly or yearly travel passes. They could calculate how often someone would need to travel in order to save money with the various passes.
  • Discuss how a person's budget and spending decisions could be affected by their circumstances, culture, upbringing or religious beliefs.
  • Discuss how people's financial situations, needs and wants change throughout the different stages of their life.
  • Monitor news reports about the economy and other financial stories and use these for debate and discussion. Make a file of the articles.
  • Discuss and investigate different places that people can get advice about money. Come up with some different financial scenarios and ask young people to respond as advice-givers.
  • Select a local charity and ask learners to organise a fundraising event. They could plan the event, work out costings and seek sponsorship. Make sure you let the charity know you're holding the event!
  • List situations where money and/or resources are wasted as a result of poor financial decisions (e.g. someone buying more food than they can use and ending up throwing some away) and discuss solutions to the problem.
  • Ask learners to choose a particular product (e.g. breakfast cereals, trainers) and investigate it as a critical consumer (e.g. look at different brands, how they use advertising, their price and their quality).
  • Discuss the difference between short, medium and long term financial goals and how these can be saved for. Discuss examples of what might be short, medium and long term financial commitments and the implications of these on a person's budget (e.g. pay-as-you-go mobile phone versus a year's contract).
  • Choose a number of different products and ask learners to investigate the cheapest way to buy them.

Careers

  • Discuss the different personal qualities an employer might look for when employing a new member of staff. Consider the value of interests, hobbies and voluntary work, as well as qualifications.
  • Role-play mock job interviews with learners, talking about the qualities that would make them a good employee. For added interest, you can do a 'speed-networking' activity, where they have a limited amount of time to 'sell' themselves to their partner - great for building confidence and practising assertive, clear communication.
  • Ask learners to look at the range of different CV samples provided and then have a go at writing their own CVs. They may not have any work experience but could include membership of clubs and organisations, voluntary work, etc as well as their skills and personal qualities.
  • Investigate how careers and trends in employment have changed and how salaries in the past compare with those today. They could interview relatives or people in their local community to get a better understanding.

Currency

  • Ask learners to choose a currency and investigate the exchange rates offered by different financial institutions and businesses. They could look on the high street or online, and also find out about commission charges and fees for different payment methods.

Documents and Income

  • With permission, bring in different financial documents (e.g. bills, bank statements) so learners can examine the types of information that they contain You can also use the document examples from the game .
  • Invite representatives from local business to come into the school/centre and speak about how they started in business and about how company finances are organised. You could get in touch with your local Education and Business Partnership hub to find out which local employers are keen to link up with schools.
  • Talk about people's experience of using different forms of payment (e.g. direct debit, credit card). What might be the benefits and disadvantages of each?

Risk

  • Discuss the fact that financial decisions are more about circumstances and personal choices than right answers and come up with role-play scenarios that demonstrate this.
  • Discuss situations where young people have taken risks (financial or otherwise), the reasons behind their decisions and the outcomes.
  • Discuss the probability of needing different types of insurance.
  • Discuss the different types of fraud or scams that they or their friends/family have been exposed to.
  • Discuss the different sources of financial advice available. Which of these might be considered reliable? Which might be biased?
  • Discuss the different rights and responsibilities that consumers have and when it might be appropriate to make a complaint about a purchase. How should this be done?

Saving and Investing

  • Ask learners to do a research project on ethical investments - interesting places to look at include charities, universities and pension funds.
  • Ask learners to look into the issue of the UK's 'ageing population' and the impact this will have on pensions and public services like health care, transport, etc.
  • Discuss how governmental decisions (such as raising tax or adjusting interest rates) can affect personal finances.
  • Discuss which saving account at your bank or building society would be most suitable and where the best interest rates are offered.