How do I spend my money unwise?

Lesson Inspiration: Three Steps to Proper Money Management

.. an ancient saying that sums up an important topic very well: The right way to deal with money has to be learned first. The following three steps will help students find responsible use of their money. Let yourself be inspired - regardless of whether you prefer to hand out leaflets with the most important aspects or prepare a whole series of lessons on the topic.

Step 1: Develop a feeling for costs, prices and values.

How much do toast and jam for breakfast actually cost? Is 50 euros a lot or little for partying at the weekend? And what do the parents pay monthly for telephone and internet and so that the students can watch Netflix or Sky? If money is only something that "comes from mom and dad", "is just there" and "is meant to be spent", it will logically become difficult with housekeeping later on. The earlier the students start to take a closer look and deal with the topic of money, the sooner they develop a feeling for what things cost - and the better they become at planning, making decisions and managing.

Encourage students to sit down with their parents and have them list their expenses. Most will be surprised how many fixed costs and other expenses actually arise each month and what you have to pay for - from food and gasoline to electricity or a discount for garbage collection.

So that the young people can "empathize" even further, they can go shopping for themselves for a while in a small experiment and write everything down. But even if they "only" manage their pocket money for the usual things: It is important that your students gain an overview and get into the habit of tracking their expenses so that they can always see exactly what amount has gone where. After all, that is the be all and end all when dealing with money correctly: knowing where it is "going".

So it is best for the students to keep all receipts and keep a record of what they have spent on what. So they will automatically start comparing prices, comparing products and questioning expenses. And after a short time you will get a good feel for what is (too) expensive for you and what is within the framework.

Step 2: Set a budget - and stick to it.

The golden rule to stay debt free: "Only spend money that you can really spend - no money that is actually already planned and also no money that you have not yet received ("But I always get money from Grandma for my birthday, that comes back in ..."). "Priceless advice too: Your students should keep their hands off financing and consumer credit. If you haven't saved up the money for the new smartphone, you'd better wait instead of buying on credit. A few "Case studies "in which you can look at the fine print of the supposedly attractive financing together as an example, can leave a lasting impression.

Before the "seriousness of life" comes to them, the young people can practice dealing with money very well with their pocket money. Important: no excuses, no trickery and no pumping mom-and-dad-of-course-for-money when things get tight again.

Your students should set a budget, be consistent and honest with themselves. First, think carefully about what your regular costs are - for your cell phone, for example - and when they are due. What else do you spend your money on? You realistically divide the total amount you have available to your typical expenses and make a note of your partial budget (around: 20 euros for cosmetics, 30 euros for clothes, 10 euros for music, 5 euros for tickets ...). Remind your students to be sure to get another one Fixed amount for the unforeseen, fun and odds and ends keep open. If you only plan what is absolutely necessary and no "fun money" in your budget, that is hardly realistic after all.

Those who prefer digital rather than analog can download a budget book app to convert meticulously record all income and expenses - up to the "small change" for a sandwich or whatever else is bought quickly. If the students notice over time that they have set too much or too little for certain areas, let them adjust their plan accordingly.

If it is often difficult for them to get through the month with their money, they should give the envelope method a try. To do this, the students divide their monthly budget by the number of weeks and put the money for each week in a separate envelope. Per week you are only allowed to spend what is in your weekly envelope - so you start every week with a full weekly budget instead of wasting your monthly budget in a few days. What is left at the end of a week can go into the envelope for the following week - or into the money box or savings account to save up a little cushion.

Step 3: start saving and be prepared for "special cases".

Alleged "special cases" occur surprisingly regularly in everyday life. The jeans break (or later the much more expensive washing machine), the students have to pay extra or want to go on vacation and need a larger sum for it. If you have to pay all of this from your current monthly budget, you slide into the debt trap faster than you "would have saved!" can call. Therefore, discuss with your students how important it is to regularly put some money aside, which you can then fall back on in a relaxed manner.

If you are very disciplined, you can of course just put aside what is left at the end of the month. Those who are less disciplined are best left alone a fixed sum at the beginning of the month (re) book to his savings account - what is gone can no longer be spent after all. If you like, you can too certain coins in his money box at the end of the week toss, for example, all 2 euro coins that are then in the wallet. And of course, gifts of money are always ideal to put at least part of it on the high edge. With these tips, the students create a good basis for dealing sensibly with their money in the long term - and staying debt-free!