Making sense of how we use our money


“Whew, managing money is harder than it looks,” sighed a 4th grade student at Adair Elementary School.  Another student responded, “Managing money is a big responsibility. I thought it was easy until today.”

These students, along with all of their 4th grade classmates, had just visited they school gym to participate in the “Dollar and Sense” Program.  This program, designed to introduce elementary school students to concepts in economics and budgeting, provided students with an opportunity to make their own financial decisions.

Students were given a pretend monthly allowance and were required to visit “stores” to purchase items of interest. But first, they must pay taxes and make decisions about placing their money in a checking account and/or in a savings account at the bank.   Students must consider their wants versus needs as they make decisions at each store.   For example, they had to think about purchasing food for their pets before buying candy for themselves.

Students were very sincere in their approach to this activity and they were able to reflect upon the decisions that they made and identify ways to budget more carefully in the future.  At the conclusion of the program, nearly seventy-five percent of the students reported that they will always think about their budget before making purchases in the future.

“We want students to begin to understand the concept of budgeting and financial choices as they relate to their future”, said Tony Rose, 4-H Agent.

This activity was provided by the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service 4-H program and the Adair Elementary   Family Resource Center.   4-H Leadership students from Adair County High School also assisted with the program by manning the booths and helping the 4th graders make wise choices.

In photo one, ACES 4th graders Luc Powell and Ethan Coomer deliberate their choices at the Dollar and Sense Program and in photo 2, 4-H Leadership member Ben Hancock assisted ACES 4th Grader Chelsea Tucker during the Dollar and Sense Program.

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