Even More Finance Activities

The average American spends at least 1.5 hours/week shopping and the individuals we serve are no different.  Each week, we plan a few hours of shopping.  This offers lots of opportunities for finance lessons.  Making shopping lists and price comparisons are proven strategies for saving money while shopping.  Even individuals who live with their parents benefit from learning these strategies during their shopping opportunities.  Making lists before shopping helps to avoid overspending and impulse buying. Weekly grocery store flyers provide a great opportunity to compare prices of basic necessities.  They also provide an opportunity for individuals with limited reading and writing skills to circle pictures of items they want to purchase instead of writing a traditional list.  Learning to shop sales is a valuable life skill.  What was junk mail is now a ready-made finance worksheet.  Another great opportunity to make use of junk mail is clipping coupons.  While grocery store coupons can be more complicated to use, coupons for fast food or deals on delivered pizza are easy to understand and help stretch your budget.  For those with limited computer skills or limited access to a computer due to past behavior, junk mail offers a great opportunity to teach with paper.  For others, it will be important to learn to look at sales and coupons online.  Price comparison online is as simple as Googling.  Learning how to evaluate a seller or website is also a good skill to learn when purchasing online.  Because prices on all items fluctuate, this is an ongoing activity.  The larger the purchase the more cost comparison and bargain shopping can save.  Shopping also offers opportunities to learn how to scan purchases, use credit cards, make change and collect receipts.  Receipts should be turned into the party that takes care of funds for individuals who do not do all of their finances themselves.  Ability Matters uses a simple app to take pictures of receipts directly after each purchase.  Individuals of all ability levels can help to make sure each receipt is captured and learn the importance of record keeping.  Practicing economizing skills is useful in times of plenty as well as times of economic recession especially for populations that may be dependent on fixed incomes and have limited earning potential.