Personal Management MB - New Requirements
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Tue, 10 Jun 1997 13:53:43 -0400
Well, since several people asked, and I now have them, here are the
revised requirements which become effective (I am told) on 9/1/97
(although they are already in the new merit badge book):
1. Do the following:
a. Lead a discussion with your family to identify one family financial
goal that must be saved for out of family income. Choose a goal that has
strong personal interest for both you and your family (a family trip or
vacation, a new VCR, or a family car, for instance).
b. Discuss the goal in detail (where to go on vacation, for example, or
what kind of car to buy), the cost of the goal, and when you want to reach
c. Discuss how your family could accumulate funds to reach this goal, how
the goal will affect the rest of the family budget, and how you could help
your family achieve the goal.
2. Do the following:
a. Prepare a personal budget or spending plan for three months, including
a "pay yourself first" savings plan. Keep track of everything you buy.
Balance all income with expenses and savings at the end of each month.
b. Share your three month budget with your merit badge counselor.
Explain how you determined discretionary income (income not spent to meet
fixed expenses), how much you saved, and what you spent money on. Did you
spend more or less than you budgeted?
3. Do ONE of the following:
a. Identify a personal financial goal and make a plan to achieve that
(1) Write down the goal you want to achieve. (This may be a small, short
term goal such as buying clothes, or it may be a major, long-term goal
such as saving for college.)
(2) Develop a financial plan to accomplish the goal. Determine how much
the goal will cost, how much time you have to reach the goal, how you will
earn money to pay for the goal, and what adjustments you could make if you
cannot reach the goal in the desired time with the income you can earn.
(3) Discuss your plan with your counselor.
b. Determine a spending/savings plan for living on your own.
(1) Choose a realistic job based on your age, skills, education, and
experience (working at a fast-food restaurant, movie theater, or college
library, for example). Determine how much you would probably make per
hour and how many hours you would work each week. Determine your
spendable income (after taxes and other deductions are taken out) for a
(2) Make a list of all basic monthly living expenses: rent, food,
transportation, clothing, telephone, etc. Ask family or friends, or call
sources to help you determine costs.
(3) Compare projected income with projected expenses. Would you have
enough income to live on? Would any be left over for fun? For savings?
(4) If expenses exceed income, determine what options you would have for
bringing the two into balance. Could you reduce or eliminate expenses?
Work more hours a week? Get a higher-paying job?
(5) Discuss you final plan with your counselor.
4. Do the following:
a. Choose an item you would like to buy. Be specific. (For example,
identify the brand name of a pair of shoes you want, or the title of a
b. Comparison shop for the item. Find out where you can buy the item for
the best price. Call around; study ads. Look for a sale or a discount
c. Consider alternatives. Could you buy the item used? Should you wait
for a sale?
d. Discuss your shopping strategy with your counselor.
5. Do ONE of the following:
a. Visit a bank. Ask a bank representative to explain checking accounts,
savings accounts, loans, and automated teller machines (ATMs). Explain to
your counselor the difference between a checking account and a savings
account. Discuss with your counselor the minimum requirements to open and
maintain the accounts or to take out a loan.
b. Visit another type of financial institution, such as a stock brokerage
firm or an insurance company. Ask a representative what the firm does and
how it works with consumers. Explain to your counselor the differences in
services offered by the following types of financial professionals:
financial planner, stockbroker, insurance agent, accountant, tax preparer,
banker, estate planning attorney.
6. Do the following:
a. Explain the difference between saving for a goal and investing for a
b. Explain the two basic methods of investing: loaned and owned.
c. Explain the concepts of simple and compound interest and how compound
interest can be used to increase your savings and investments more
d. Explain the concepts of yield, profit, and total return, and how they
are used to evaluate investment performance.
e. Explain the basic features of the following types of investments,
including risks and rewards and whether they involve lending or owning:
bank savings accounts, certificates of deposit, U.S. Savings Bonds, shares
of stock, shares in a mutual fund, real estate.
7. Do the following:
a. Explain what a loan is, what interest is, and how the "annual
percentage rate" measures the true cost of a loan.
b. Choose something you want to buy or do, but currently cannot afford.
Set up an imaginary loan so you can "achieve" that goal. Identify the
"principal" amount, interest rate, and repayment schedule. Determine the
total cost of the loan (principal plus interest). Determine how it would
affect your total cost if you paid back the same amount every two weeks,
instead of once a month.
c. Explain the differences between a charge card, a debit card, and a
d. Identify the factors that affect the costs of credit. Tell which
factors can be controlled.
e. Explain credit reports and how personal responsibility can affect your
f. Describe ways to reduce or eliminate debt.
8. Do the following:
a. Explain the five ways to manage risk.
b. Explain the six basic types of insurance and why someday you might
need one or more of them.
c. Define the two major types of life insurance (term and permanent) and
compare their advantages and disadvantages.
9. Do the following:
a. Identify a job or career that interests you and do basic research
about it at your library or through other information sources. Make a
presentation to your troop or counselor about the job or career. Your
report should include:
(1) An explanation of your interest in the job or career (how you learned
of it, what about it that interests you, what its job prospects are, and
how you think the job or career will change in the future)
(2) Any qualifications required (education, skills, experiences) and how
you might become qualified for the job
(3) The job's functions and responsibilities (the duties of the job or
(4) The organizations, trade associations, professional associations,
governmental regulations, or licenses involved in the career field
b. Do ONE of the following:
(1) Prepare a personal resume for the job.
(2) Interview someone in the job or career field and prepare a summary of
c. Discuss with your counselor your personal goals and ambitions in life.
Relate these to your intellectual, physical, spiritual, and moral
development. How has Scouting helped you in accomplishing your goals and
ambitions? Share your thoughts with your family.
I have not compared these to the current requirements, so I am not sure
how different they really are. Sorry for the length of this post.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City