Monday, November 12, 2012

Budget & Tithing Activity

Learn how to budget and save money. Discuss why it is important to faithfully pay our tithing and how Heavenly Father blesses us when we do (see 3 Nephi 24:10–11). Pay your tithing and begin saving for an education.
~Developing Talents #1 from Faith in God for Girls

Price is Right (Budgeting) Lesson/Game:

Preparation: Go shopping for things you can use and keep the receipt! You'll need 10-15 items. You could use things from your pantry and just run to the store and jot down the prices.

Have two "showcases" of about 10 grocery/toiletry items one is the "economy" and one is the "name brand"

For the game you could have the girls guess the total amount they would save if they bought all economy brands of everything they see. and then maybe give a small treat to the closest guess.  My girls had very little concept of how much things cost, so I gave them lots of hints and helped them as they thought of their guesses so it wouldn't be meaningless.

Explain what budgeting is and why we often need to look for lower prices ask them if they have done this or if their moms do this.  We found that the average savings on items with economy brand for our game was $1 and we had 10 items. Thats $10! That could buy a movie ticket, a dvd, lots of candy, craft supplies, and still have leftovers for missionary and temple donations, etc.   The bottom line: if we're careful what we buy, we can save for more important things.  We also talked about how to decide when economy brands are a good choice and when they are not (huge taste difference, really unhealthy ingredient substitutions, less product in the same size box, etc).

Again, explain the difference in prices to the girls and the value of sometimes buying the name brand (ie chex is gluten free, off brand is not--big deal for a celiac family, the difference in price for Bush beans and generic beans is tiny, but the taste difference is HUGE, do you need fancy paper towel or thin stuff, plain bandaids or cool character print bandaids, etc.)

Lesson: What does money have to do with the gospel? I think it’s important to manage it well so that we have the spirit with us, strong health, and peace of mind rather than fear, headaches, stress, and contention. To manage money well, it is important to have a habit of saving for the future, budgeting (spend less than you earn), and always paying tithing first.

You might ask the girls what they save their money for. Ask them what they do first when they earn money? (Tithing).
Teach about the importance of spending less than you earn (can I afford it? If yes, do I need it?)

Resources for teaching Budgeting:
Elder Robert D. Hales, an apostle taught in conference two good questions to always remember when you are spending money.

The first he learned when he was first married. They were poor and it was Christmas and he wanted to give his wife a really special gift to show how much he loved her. His wife saw a beautiful dress in the store and he knew that was the gift. He encouraged her to try it on and see if she wanted to get it. She tried it on and loved it, but when she came out of the store, she hadn't purchased it. When Elder Hales asked why, she answered
“We can’t afford it.”
He realized that spending more than you can afford doesn't show love, we shouldn't do it no matter what, even if it is Christmas or we really, really like something. He always remembered how wise his wife had been.

The second question he learned years later when they had been married longer and had more money. It was almost their anniversary and he wanted to get her a beautiful, very fancy coat, but once again, his wife said no, this time she pointed out that she was the Relief Society president and was doing service around people all the time who had very little money and wearing a coat like that would be inappropriate. No, she really didn't need it. So the second question we should always remember. Even if we CAN afford something, we should always ask "Do we really need it?" If we don't we should try to be happy without it.

Savings Relay:

Supplies: Four dice, LOTS of household items symbolizing long terms savings (or even shorter term savings such as a bike or electronic device)

Examples: wedding=temple picture, wedding veil, Mission=Missionary name tag, tie, scriptures, College=anything with a college logo very prominent on it, family vacation=beach ball, Car=toy cars, House=toy house, house keys

Put all the household items on a table.  Before starting, ask the girls what kind of things we need to save money for  and show them they items on the table that go along with their ideas.  Encourage them to start saving.  Then, divide the girls into two teams and sit on the opposite side of the room or a good run away from all the "savings stuff".

Each team gets two dice. When the relay starts they pass the dice around their team and each girl rolls. If she gets doubles, she runs and gets an item off the table. The relay ends when all the items are gone.  Take some time to see what each group collected and use it to review(i.e. group A saved for two missions, a wedding, and three college educations)  The team that has the most "savings items" wins.  The teams should stop rolling the dice if someone on their team is running.

Tithing Treasure Hunt:

Before the hunt share your testimony of why it is important to faithfully pay tithing and how Heavenly Father blesses us when we do.

 I took a bunch of sandwich bags and filled them with assorted amounts of play money and treats.  Then I hid them outside just like an easter egg hunt. I called each bag a "paycheck".  I had enough bags for each girl to find three.

Then the tricky part. Have each girl count her money and figure out how much tithing she would owe.  I discovered that this math is pretty hard for 8 and 9 year olds so I suggest putting 10 of a denomination (10 $1, 10 $5, 10 $10, etc) so they can easily choose 1 to pay as tithing.  Older girls might be able to figure out tithing on trickier amounts such as $50 is $5 $70 is $7 and so on.

You can make play money on green construction paper or buy some, the girls seem to love it either way.

Idea #2 (3/4/2016)
My daughter's activity day leader recently did the budget activity like this:
she gave each girl an envelope with $1000 in play money and a budget worksheet
Monthly Budget








Medical Expenses


Charitable Donations


Entertainment & Hobbies


She carefully talked about what each category was all about and let them write down how much they would spend for each category.  Some girls did $100 for each, some did it a bit differently.  Then she spread an envelope for each category throughout the room and let the girls go spend their money and see how much was leftover.  They were amazed at how fast they could spend $1000.  My 8 year old daughter loved this so much and was thrilled to bring her envelope of money home to play with again and again.


  1. My cousin told me they did this activity in their ward just before Easter, they told all the girls to come for relays and a tithing easter egg hunt. They had a great turn out (no one wants to miss an egg hunt) and a fun time. She also said they broke this into two activities, which is a really good idea since there is so much to cover on this Faith in God goal.

  2. I was thrilled to see this on Pinterest and am using the ideas for our Activity Day this evening. Thanks for all the ideas!

  3. Thanks for this activity idea, I am doing this tonight with my Beehives in Arizona and they are super excited to play Price is Right. I went to the store and took pictures of the grocery's and I'm doing a power point and then made notes in my phone of the prices!

  4. You know Jesus didn't exist, right?

  5. Thank you for the ideas! We're using most of this for our 8-9 year old girls tomorrow.