Learning to budget, pay taxes, obtain a loan, find the most competitive credit card rates or recover from identity theft might sound stressful or maybe even boring. The Financial Literacy class at Mountain Springs Preparatory Academy, taught by Becca Black is anything but! Student Ethan shared, “Financial literacy is so important and Becca is such a great teacher!”
Students are currently involved in a realistic budgeting project. Each student has chosen a desired career and a city to “live” in. Based on their chosen profession, each student was paid a salary. Students then created a budget including housing costs, car payments, insurance, utilities, cell phone, medical expenses and so much more. In an attempt to help students understand that life events can dramatically affect your budget, Becca recently assigned each student an unexpected financial situation such as a natural disaster, medical emergency or car accident. Students have since made adjustments in their budget to account for this surprise development. What a great way to learn that “real life” isn’t always easy financially speaking.
Class member Aubrey said, “I have had some really hard financial things come up in my life right now and I don’t have the stability that I thought I did. I just applied to my dream college and I had to try and find a way to pay for that. I had to borrow the money for the application from someone. Now I am trying to figure out how to pay that person back. This class is helping me figure out all of this. I think it is good that I am learning this now, so I won’t be blindsided by finances in the future. Without this class financial literacy, I would be so much more stressed out about my future.”
Learning To Be Entrepreneurs….
During a recent class discussion, the students asked if they could go out to lunch as a class. Becca thought it was a great idea and told the students they would need to come up with a way to fund it. Ethan suggested that they start their own business to earn the money. After brainstorming the students decided that selling baked goods would be the best way to turn a profit. They determined to take advantage of a local farmer’s market to sell their product. Sophie provided a family recipe for Cowboy Cookies and together the class created a yummy brownie recipe. Both recipes could be produced at a low cost. The students made the choice to sell both fresh goods and dry mixes of their recipes. Each student invested as much capital as they could to acquire supplies. The class calculated how much they could make with the capital they had invested building a pricing and marketing plan accordingly.
Students contacted the farmer’s market making arrangements to sell on an upcoming Saturday. The Friday before found students preparing their products. On the day of the event, students sold $110 of baked goods and mixes. The class had invested $55 in materials and booth rental at the Farmer’s Market. With $55 of profit, the students made more than enough to fund a pizza lunch. In the following class discussions, students determined what they did well and what could have gone better. Almost all of the students had something insightful to share, and ideas for where they could have improved. Lessons learned in Becca’s classroom will hopefully last a lifetime.