Future Start

Welcome to the money management section. All the information and workshops in this section was researched and developed by Julia Drew and Brittany Slauenwhite.

The following lesson plan and all the materials can be downloaded for printing and sharing. Please credit HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development and the Lunenburg District Office of Community Services, Nova Scotia when using the materials. If you use these materials please let us know so we can track where they are being used. If you have any suggestions for changes please let us know.

Future Start Lesson Plan: Money Management

Created by Julia Drew and Brittany Slauenwhite

Part 1: Icebreaker & Needs & Wants Activity


  • For participants to get to know each other
  • For participants to understand the difference between their needs and their wants

Approximate time:

  • 15 minutes

Materials, props or technology; room set up

  • Horse-shoe of chairs
  • A white board or flip chart
  • Money question cards (print from website)
  • Box for question cards
  • Markers
  • Post-it notes

Workshop Details and Script

1. Introduction and Ice Breaker

How are you all today? My name is _____. Today we are going to learn about money management.
But first, I would like to get your juices flowing to start thinking about money managment. What I would like you to do is take a card out of the box. You will then introduce yourselves, read your question on your card out loud and then answer it.

Pass around box with question cards.

Participants introduce themselves and answer questions.

2. Needs and Wants Activity

I’m going to pass out 6 sticky notes each, please write out anything that you have bought in the last week, please only write one item on each sticky note. If you can’t remember last week, then the past couple days is fine.

Wait until participants stop writing, then write NEEDS on one side of the white board and WANTS on the other side. Draw a vertical line between the two.

Facilitator invites the group to put post-it notes on the board under the category that makes sense for what they wrote.

Okay, come on up and put your sticky notes where you think they belong.

Participants put notes up on board.

3. Group Discussion

Facilitator selects a few from each category to have a discussion on them. There will likely be some that fall on the line, or some that may seem in the other category. It is important not to judge where people put them, but have a discussion on why we feel they should belong here or there.

Ask questions like:

  • Why does this one fit here?
  • Are there some you would disagree with? Why?
  • If you spend money on your wants first, what will happen?
  • Why is it important to be able to have your needs met and have some of your wants too?
  • If you are living on a budget, how do you balance your needs and wants?

Part 2: Budget Scenario


  • To get people to think about monthly budgeting
  • To work with a simple budget sheet

Approximate time:

  • 10-15 minutes

Materials, props or technology; room set up

  • Chairs in a circle
  • Chalk board and chalk or white board
  • Budget Sheet handouts (print from website)

Workshop Details and Script

1. Budget Scenario Read off this scenario to participants:

You are a 19 year old moving out on your own for the first time, you rent an apartment in town, you are out of school, you are single, have no children or no pets, you have a car, you have a job that pays minimum wage and you work 5 days a week 8 hour days, on average you earn $1500 monthly.

2. Budget Chart:

Make a T chart on the white board and label one side “Bills” and the other side “Extras”

3. Group Generates Bills:

Ask participants what they think a 19 year old living independently would have for monthly bills and then ask how much to budget for each bill. Keep in mind to be realistic on your costs and use the opportunity to have a discussion on how much things would cost in real life so they have something to think about before they live independently.

Write down the information they give you on board under the Bills column.

If the group has a difficult time knowing the costs of things, here are some suggested monthly costs for bills:

  • Rent $600-$700
  • Water $50
  • Power $200
  • Heat $150
  • Car Payment $100-200
  • Gasoline $160
  • Insurance $70
  • Cell phone $50
  • Personal Care $100
  • Medical $100
  • Food $200-$400

4. Group Generates Extras:

Ask participants what they think a 19 year old might want for extras in their life? Again be realistic on costs.

Write these up on the board under the Extras column

Some suggested monthly costs for extras are:

  • Entertainment $100
  • Alcohol $40-$50
  • Fast Food $50-$100
  • Movies $20-$30
  • Videogames $5-$50
  • Clothes $50-$150
  • Electronics $50-$75

5. Group Discussion:

Add up the monthly bills and extras and compare this to monthly earning and if you are in debt or have savings at the end of every month.

Suggested Questions:

  • What do you think or feel when you see this written up like this?
  • What are some things this person could cut back on?
  • How could they manage their bills differently?
  • Why is it difficult for some to stick to a budget?
  • What can help someone stick to a budget?

Part 3: Money-Opoly


  • To learn to make critical decisions when shopping
  • To experience, in a fun way, how unexpected expenses can impact how we spend and save money

Approximate time:

  • You can play this as long as time allows, or until one person goes once around the board. It could be played for 10-20 minutes or longer.

Materials, props or technology; room set up

  • Money-opoly board (print game board, pay/collect cards from website)
  • Items for player pieces
  • Money for game (print 5 pages of each money denomination off website and cut)

Workshop Details and Script

1. Game Rules:

  • Five people can play individually, or pairs can also play which increases discussion and decision making
  • Each player starts with $500 and a player piece on the FutureStart logo
  • Banker (facilitator) will collect money from bills and purchases throughout the game
  • Red, orange, yellow, blue and purple squares are items you can buy
  • You can buy as many of that one item as you want
  • When you land on a green money symbol, you select a card from the middle of the board, read it out loud and do as the card says.
  • Always pay your bills and purchases to your banker.
  • The banker is responsible to give and collect money and make change if necessary.
  • Every time you pass the FutureStart logo you receive $100 and it’s the next month
  • You lose when you go bankrupt (have no money left)
  • You win if you have the most money left after everyone else is out

2. Group Discussion:

  • Discuss the importance of the game and what they learned. Suggested questions include:
  • What stands out for you from playing this game?
  • How does it impact your thinking regarding needs and wants?
  • How do you currently deal with unexpected expenses, or surprise gifts of money?
  • How might you spend you money differently in the future?


pdf (164 KB)

LessonPlanMM Nov1
pdf Download Lesson Plan (164 KB)