Extending their learning

Part of: Finance World


  1. Investigate the cost of travel in your local area (especially a regular journey e.g. to and from school/college/work) and how money could be saved if you planned ahead. For example, you could consider the cost of daily bus or train tickets compared with weekly, monthly or yearly travel passes. Calculate how often someone would need to travel in order to save money with the various passes.
  2. Talk about how a person’s budget and spending decisions could be affected by their circumstances, culture, upbringing or religious beliefs.
  3. Discuss how people’s financial situations, needs and wants change throughout the different stages of their life.
  4. Monitor news reports about the economy and other financial stories and use these for debate and discussion.  Make a file of the articles.
  5. Discuss and investigate different places that people can get advice about money. Come up with some different financial scenarios and think about the advice you would give.
  6. Select a local charity and organise a fundraising event. You could plan the event, work out costings and seek sponsorship. Make sure you let the charity know you’re holding the event!
  7. 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.
  8. Choose a particular product (e.g. breakfast cereal, trainers) and investigate it as a critical consumer. For example, look at different brands, how they use advertising, their price and their quality.
  9. Discuss the difference between short, medium and long-term financial goals and how these can be saved for. 
  10. 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 vs a year’s contract).
  11. Create a personal budget, detailing expenses and income over a given month. You can find an example of a budget sheet here.
  12. Research the costs of university accommodation in your area - look on university websites and search for letting agencies that specialise in student housing. What is the cheapest rent you can find and what is the most expensive?
  13. BUDGETING CASE STUDY – discusses the financial decisions involved with becoming a student and living away from home. 


  1. 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.
  2. Role-play mock job interviews, 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’ yourself to a partner - great for building confidence and practising assertive, clear communication.
  3. Look at the range of different CV samples provided and then have a go at writing your own CV. You 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.
  4. Investigate how careers and trends in employment have changed and how salaries in the past compare with those today. You could interview relatives or people in their local community to get a better understanding.
  5. CAREERS CASE STUDY – Looks at the importance of preparing for the career you want.


  1. Choose a currency and investigate the exchange rates offered by different financial institutions and businesses. Look on the high street or online, and also find out about commission charges and fees for different payment methods.
  2. Pick a few different foreign currencies and track the differences in how they rise and fall over a period of a few weeks. Make a diary of any changes and discuss any reasons that may have attributed to the change.
  3. If you bought an item on your credit card for £100 and your interest rate was 18.9% APR, how much would you pay in total if it took you twelve months to pay the money back?  Can you make up some more examples like this and work out the answer.  You could give them with someone else to complete and compare how you worked it out. 
  4. CURRENCY CASE STUDY – looks at using money abroad along with budgeting and credit.

Documents & Income

  1. Look at different financial documents (e.g. bills, bank statements) and examine the types of information that they contain.  There are some examples here.
  2. 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.
  3. Think about different people’s experience of using different forms of payment e.g. direct debit, credit card. What might be the benefits and disadvantages of each?
  4. Take a look at any financial documents you may have yourself – such as a mobile phone bill, car insurance plan, payslip or rental agreement. You can also use the sample documents from the game here. Do you understand all of the information on the bill? If not call up the provider for a more detailed explanation. Track your payments from one month to the next to see how they change, for instance with your mobile phone bill.
  5. Learning to drive can be expensive but running a car is also very costly. Choose your dream car and use a price comparison website to find the best possible insurance quote for a 'Fully Comprehensive' policy.
  6. DOCUMENTS & INCOME CASE STUDY – this covers buying your first car and insurance documents.


  1. Think about situations where you have taken risks (financial or otherwise).  Think about the reasons behind your decisions and the outcomes of what could have happened.
  2. Find out about different types of insurance and the types you need now or might need in the future.  What are the benefits to each type of insurance and which should you be investing in? What are the differences in cost and what is the right plan for you?
  3. Think about the different sources of financial advice available. Which of these might be considered reliable? Which might be biased?
  4. Investigate 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?
  5. RISK CASE STUDY – looks at using credit cards and budgeting for spending and debt.

 Saving & Investing

  1. Do a research project on ethical investments - interesting places to look at include charities, universities and pension funds.
  2. 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.
  3. Discuss how governmental decisions (such as raising tax or adjusting interest rates) can affect personal finances.  You could look at the most recent budget, did any of the changes impact on your life?
  4. Compare savings and interest rates to varying banks and building societies on your local high street. How do they compare? What is the best rate for you?  Which is the best deal and why?
  5. SAVING & INVESTING CASE STUDY – looks at savings accounts and setting goals.