Econ Lowdown resources can help your Girl Scout earn several badges related to economics and personal finance. Educational experts from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis worked with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri to create activities and lessons to help Girl Scouts of all ages earn badges and leaves.
Click below to find activities and lessons related to the following:
In addition, Econ Lowdown content was featured in the Boy Scouts Personal Management merit badge.
Below is a full transcript of the video. It has not been edited or reviewed for accuracy or readability.
Links within the transcript are to our online resources and other information as indicated. Also, explore the filter at stlouisfed.org/education to find even more resources.
Narrator: The St. Louis Fed has resources not just for classrooms and the general public, but also for niche audiences – like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Recently, our Econ Ed staff conducted a lesson on choices for 6- and 7-year old Daisy Scouts. See what some of the parents had to say about starting this early with personal finance education—and see the impact it’s having on one little girl.
Mary Suiter: So I just wondered, why did you decide to have your daughter—your troop—participate tonight?
Kari: I think it’s important for them to learn about money and learn about how money works and why you buy different things, and, often when I’m teaching that information, it doesn’t stick as much.
Barb Flowers: How many of you have heard of goods and services? Anybody? Heard about that in school yet? Okay, well you will be hearing about it, so you are going to hear it first here.
Mary Suiter: So Skylar, so what do you know about money?
Skylar: Money can buy you a lot of things.
Mary Suiter: Money can buy you a lot of things. You’re right. And where does it—where do you get money?
Skylar: You can get it from the bank.
Mary Suiter: Do they just give it to you?
Skylar: You have to get a credit card and—or you can have a bank account, and you can get money from your bank account.
Mary Suiter: Okay, and if you have a bank account, what do you have to do?
Skylar: You have to—you can ask them if you need your money or not, and they’ll tell you. And you can get the money from your bank account.
Mary Suiter: Okay, and you can—why do you keep your money in the bank?
Skylar: Because if—because sometimes you don’t have a lot of room for it, or—
Mary Suiter: Okay. And do you think maybe it’s a safe place to keep your money?
Mary Suiter: Yeah, okay. I like those reasons. You don’t want to keep it under your mattress or anything, right?
Barb Flowers: Okay, so she said that some people say they need a toy, but really, they just want it. Is that how you think needs and wants works?
Barb Flowers: Anybody else have an example?
Mary Suiter: How did you find out about this program this evening for your girls?
Leslie Wilson (mother of Skylar): Well, through the Girl Scouts there are different badges that they can get. So, this was one of them. We definitely wanted our kid to be part of the literacy for finances.
Mary Suiter: Okay. And why do you think that’s so important?
Devin Dixon (mother of Kaylee): Well, they need to learn about money and how to make money, save money. And it’s especially important during the Girl Scout cookie season. So this is a good way for them to learn about money and the way that they sell. And become mini-entrepreneurs, so to speak. This is their business.
Mary Suiter: I think that’s a great goal. So, the Federal Reserve Bank has a lot of resources on their website for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, parents, teachers. We have a lot of materials for classroom teachers to use to teach the kids about money and saving, spending. We have stuff for helping the girls get badges relating to money. This is one of them. And we have several others. So, what do you think the girls will learn tonight?
Leslie: I think they’ll learn how to, like you say, use money and know what the value of money is. And hopefully, you know, for their life they can take those resources and make good choices.
Mary Suiter: What do you think they know about money? And what do they say that makes you think they need some lessons?
Leslie: Well, you know, with my daughter, Skylar, she is an entrepreneur. So it’s funny because when she does go out and she, like, being we have a pop up shop this weekend with the Girl Scouts as well as her product. But she’s conscious of the money. She’s like, okay, mom, how much did I make? I want my money. I want you to put it here. She has a savings account so she knows.
Mary Suiter: Wow. That’s great.
Leslie: And she likes to save. She likes to see it add up. And we make her save money to get the things that she wants. You want this book? Then you need to save some amount of money or do this amount of chores.
Mary Suiter: So I have to ask, what is her product?
Leslie: It’s called Skylarlicious Naturals. It’s a natural hair care product for kids.
Mary Suiter: Oh, wow!
Mary Suiter: So I hear you’re an entrepreneur?
Mary Suiter: And do you know what entrepreneurs are?
Mary Suiter: What?
Skylar: Entrepreneurs are young people who sell stuff at a young age.
Mary Suiter: Okay, so entrepreneurs start businesses, right?
Mary Suiter: And you started a business.
Mary Suiter: So what is your business?
Skylar: My business is about natural hair.
Mary Suiter: Natural hair. And how did you come up with this idea?
Skylar: It was actually my mom who came up with it.
Mary Suiter: She did?
Mary Suiter: How come?
Skylar: Because my hair get—got really tangled, so she asked one of her friends if she could make a product for her.
Narrator: The St. Louis Fed has educational materials even for budding entrepreneurs.
Mary Suiter: There’s a great entrepreneurial book on their website too called Isabell’s Car Wash. And there’s a little lesson that goes with it that would work for your girls in your troop to help them think a little bit about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Isabel actually sells shares in her car wash because she doesn’t have the money she needs to get started. And then she has to repay the stockholders. And so it’s a really nice little story that you could use for your troop too. Yeah. And they love to read.
Devin Dixon: We just did a presentation to the entire troop two weeks ago on entrepreneurship.
Narrator: So, is this education sinking in? What more is needed as the kids grow up?
Devin Dixon: She’s just more conscious of spending money these days. It’s just something that’s just has come to learn is to, do we have enough money to get this? Do I have enough money to buy this? Or can we go do this? Do we have enough money? So this should help.
Mary Suiter: Help her make priorities.
Devin Dixon: Help her make her priorities because right now—well, last year, let’s just go get something to eat. And now I’ve been saying, you know, do you know how much this costs? We can’t always go out to eat. We have food at home. We need to make different choices about what we’re going to eat and how we’re going to spend our money.
Mary Suiter: So, that’s so great that you’re doing that but you’re talking to her about it. Because sometimes parents struggle to talk to their kids about money. And schools don’t always teach it. And so the kids don’t always get it. So that’s one of the things that we hope to do is encourage teachers to teach it but also that parents would have those conversations. Because we know kids have some misconceptions about money.
Leslie Wilson: With Skylar I want her to know generational wealth. We have to start creating a generational wealth. You know, you have to have something for your future. It’s not about spending now, now, now. Plan for your future, for college, for whatever endeavors that you want. So, I think the conversation that we should be having with our daughters.
Mary Suiter: Absolutely.
Leslie Wilson: And our sons. But, you know, our daughters to be independent and self-sufficient, this is the start.
Mary Suiter: So, what do you think about the impact of what you’re teaching now to their longer term decision making and what your goals might be for them in the future?
Kari:: Working with them on not being impulsive and so that’s why we have savings accounts that they can’t access and even though they have a piggy bank we don’t really pull out of—you know, for the candy and small things, because saving that, and as the piggy bank accumulates and they get more and more, then they can purchase more. And then that, in the end, also will go into the future with the understanding that if they put money into savings or into stocks and other things like that (that was something that I was taught)—
Mary Suiter: Hm-hmm. [affirmative]
Kari: Was to do that saving and now I’ve seen the impact that it’s had. So that’s something that we’re wanting to work with them on, as well.
Mary Suiter: We also have something called Parent Q and A on our website. And it’s a set of questions that parents can pull up on their phone. And when you’re reading a story to your kids, like, A Chair for my Mother, or Uncle Jed’s Barber Shop, or Alexander Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday, there are questions you can ask as those children are, those people in the book are making saving and spending decisions. So I’d encourage you to take a look at those. Because they’d also be good discussion for your troop.
Leslie Wilson: So we have to get them conscious and assertive about money and what it means. And what you have to prepare yourself for. Like you said, growing up, going to college, maybe saving for your college. It’s your experience, so you should buy into it.
Mary Suiter: So, I think for some of the older girls as you’re moving along with your troop, those things would include, I think, a discussion of credit, compound interest. You know, all of those things. Insurance. Choosing a college.
Leslie Wilson: Like, Roth/IRA.
Mary Suiter: Right. So, we have resources out there on those topics, on our websites. So it’s St. Louis Fed dot org slash education.
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