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Blog Scouts: Personal Management

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I thought the first merit badge we’ll work on this month should go along with the theme of this blog. The personal management badge encourages people to learn how to manage their money and time. That’s what The Frugal Law Student is all about! Here are the requirements. Remember, each requirement is a separate post.

  1. Do the following:
    1. Choose an item that your family might want to purchase that is considered a major expense.
    2. Write a plan that tells how your family would save money for the purchase identified in requirement 1a.
      1. Discuss how other family needs must be considered in this plan.
    3. Develop a written shopping strategy for the purchase identified in requirement 1a.
      1. Determine the quality of the item or service (using consumer publications or rating systems).
      2. Comparison shop for the item. Find out where you can buy the item for the best price. (Provide prices from at least two different price sources.) Call around; study ads. Look for a sale or discount coupon. Consider alternatives. Can you buy the item used? Should you wait for a sale?
  2. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a budget reflecting your expected income (allowance, gifts, wages), expenses, and savings. Track your actual income, expenses, and savings for 2 consecutive weeks. When complete, present the results in a post.
    2. Compare expected income with expected expenses.
      1. If expenses exceed income, determine steps to balance your budget.
      2. If income exceeds expenses, state how you would use the excess money (new goal, savings).
  3. Discuss in a post FIVE of the following concepts:
    1. The emotions you feel when you receive money.
    2. Your understanding of how the amount of money you have with you affects your spending habits.
    3. Your thoughts when you buy something new and your thoughts about the same item three months later. Explain the concept of buyer’s remorse.
    4. How hunger affects you when shopping for food items (snacks, groceries).
    5. Your experience of an item you have purchased after seeing or hearing advertisements for it. Did the item work as well as advertised?
    6. Your understanding of what happens when you put money into a savings account.
    7. Charitable giving. Explain its purpose and your thoughts about it.
    8. What you can do to better manage your money.
  4. Explain the following in a post:
    1. The differences between saving and investing, including reasons for using one over the other.
    2. The concepts of return on investment and risk.
    3. The concepts of simple interest and compound interest and how these affected the results of your investment exercise.
  5. Select five publicly traded stocks from the business section of the newspaper. Explain in a post the importance of the following information for each stock:
    1. Current price
    2. How much the price changed from the previous day
    3. The 52-week high and the 52-week low prices
  6. Pretend you have $1,000 to save, invest, and help prepare yourself for the future. Explain in a post the advantages or disadvantages of saving or investing in each of the following:
    1. Common stocks
    2. Mutual funds
    3. Life insurance
    4. A certificate of deposit (CD)
    5. A savings account or U.S. savings bond
  7. Explain in a post the following:
    1. What a loan is, what interest is, and how the annual percentage rate (APR) measures the true cost of a loan.
    2. The different ways to borrow money.
    3. The differences between a charge card, debit card, and credit card. What are the costs and pitfalls of using these financial tools? Explain why it is unwise to make only the minimum payment on your credit card.
    4. Credit reports and how personal responsibility can affect your credit report.
    5. Ways to eliminate debt.
  8. Demonstrate in a post your understanding of time management by doing the following:
    1. Write a “to do” list of tasks or activities, such as homework assignments, chores, and personal projects, that must be done in the coming week. Use any organizational system you want.
    2. Make a seven-day calendar or schedule. Put in your set activities, such as school classes, sports practices or games, jobs or chores, or church or club meetings, then plan when you will do all the tasks from your “to do” list between your set activities.
    3. Follow the one-week schedule you planned. Keep a daily diary or journal during each of the seven days of this week’s activities, writing down when you completed each of the tasks on your “to do” list compared to when you scheduled them.
    4. Review your “to do” list, one-week schedule, and diary/journal to understand when your schedule worked and when it did not work. IN a post, discuss and understand what you learned from this requirement and what you might do differently the next time.
  9. Prepare a written project plan demonstrating the steps below, including the desired outcome. This is a project on paper, not a real-life project. Examples could include planning a camping trip, developing a community service project or a school or religious event, or creating an annual patrol plan with additional activities not already included in the troop annual plan. Discuss your completed project plan in a post
    1. Define the project. What is your goal?
    2. Develop a timeline for your project that shows the steps you must take from beginning to completion.
    3. Describe your project.
    4. Develop a list of resources. Identify how these resources will help you achieve your goal.
    5. If necessary, develop a budget for your project.
  10. Do the following:
    1. Choose a career you might want to enter after high school or college graduation.
    2. Research the limitations of your anticipated career and discuss with your merit badge counselor what you have learned about qualifications such as education, skills, and experience.

This gives you 10 posts to write about! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about money and time management. Also, don’t forget to send me a link whenever you write a post, so I can include it on the site. You can either email me or send it through my handy contact form. Whenever you finish all the requirements, download the cool personal finance merit badge to display on your site. Get to work blog scouts! I’m looking forward to reading your posts!