One month into the New Year, more than half of the students who toasted to a yearlong goal on January 1 have given up on their resolution. In fact, just 8% of people keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Last month on the blog we shared A Financial Literacy Fresh Start offering tips to share with students to start the New Year financially fit. As we move through February, here are common resolutions to pick back up as you help your students reaffirm their commitment to financial literacy and smart budgeting for the remainder of the year.
Taking Stock of Spending
January spending can be used as a benchmark for the remaining 11 months of the year. Devoid of any major holidays and with school back in session, tracking spending from the first month of the year will help your students better understand in which areas they should scale back and where there is more discretionary income to spend (or even better to put into long-term savings). Have your students identify where the majority of their spending was focused in January and think of one area where they can budget better in the months ahead.
Many students choose to save change as part of their financial planning for the year ahead, and having a measurable and visible goal is a great way to encourage savings. To illustrate how saving a small amount of money at a time truly adds up, place an empty water jug at the front of your classroom and have students throw in spare change throughout the year. Once the jug becomes full, you can have students estimate how much the jug is worth. You could even work with the class to select a charity to donate the money to or evaluate school programs to help fund.
Booking Time to Learn
Many students will make a resolution to read a certain number of books each year. Encourage your students to pick up a book on budgeting, investing or earning extra income to supplement assigned classroom materials. By reading financial texts for fun, students can implement financial literacy lessons more fully into their life.
What was your New Year’s Resolution? For more tips and lesson plan ideas, stay on the Pathway to Financial Success blog.