MoneyWi$e helps local Girl Scouts earn their badges

Published: Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Perrott provided training on budgeting and money management for Girl Scouts.

The Girl Scout motto is “Be prepared”—an apt mantra for many of life’s challenges, including managing your money. Through the Girl Scouts financial education programming, girls learn to handle money and be self-reliant. Consumer Action’s Audrey Perrott recently helped a San Leandro-based troop by giving a MoneyWi$e training for the Girl Scouts and their parents. (MoneyWi$e is a financial literacy partnership of Consumer Action and Capital One.)

Perrott notes that the Girl Scouts have a long history of working on financial literacy initiatives, including a past partnership with the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), a 2014 Consumer Action Consumer Excellence Award honoree.

Girl Scout Leader Yvonne Nunn asked Perrott to provide a training on budgeting and money management for her Cadette scouts (grades six through eight) and their families. At this level, Scouts can earn three proficiency badges in financial literacy, including budgeting, comparison shopping and “financing my dreams.”

As a former Girl Scout, Perrott said she welcomed the opportunity to support the scouts in their efforts to earn their budgeting and comparison shopping badges. Perrott used Consumer Action’s MoneyWi$e Teens and Money module. The training included tracking spending, budgeting, identifying wants vs. needs, selecting a financial institution, saving, understanding the deductions on a paycheck and learning how to write checks and manage a checking account.

Perrott asked the Scouts and parents to work in teams on the “wants vs. needs” activity from the module. The group agreed that insurance, eyeglasses, backpacks and shoes were necessities, while piercings, designer shoes and video games were wants.

The Scouts expressed surprise when they learned about all of the deductions taken from one’s pay, as revealed in another activity, “Jamal’s First Paycheck.” Perrott said they caught on quickly and were able to correctly answer the questions in the activity in a relatively short period of time.

Years of direct exposure to financial literacy through product and cookie sales enabled the Scouts to discuss another activity called “Monica and Sarah” and to offer money-saving alternatives for the fictional characters. A general observation about Monica was that she was overspending and living extravagantly. The group recommended that Monica purchase fewer shoes and magazines, eat out less frequently, purchase less expensive nail polish, and either take public transportation or have friends pitch in for gas. Although Sarah saves more and spends less, the Scouts recommended she cut her expenses even further by returning library books on time to avoid fines and reading newspapers online rather than paying for printed versions.

During the Cody Sampson Check Writing and Ledger Balancing activities, Perrott made clear to the girls that this was the only time they’d be able to sign someone else’s name on a check. With speed and accuracy, the young women balanced the ledger and filled in the blanks on the activity sheet.

“Our girls enjoyed the information on money management,” said Troop Leader Nunn. “I look forward to working with you again in helping to develop smart, strong young ladies.”

 

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