Scouts learn to manage their time, treasure, and talents while working on the Personal Management merit badge. They investigate different aspects of saving money and investing. They learn time management techniques. And they consider how their talents might lead to a future career and explore those possibilities.
The Personal Management merit badge is required for the rank of Eagle Scout.
Personal Management Merit Badge Resources
Help with Answers for Personal Management Merit Badge Requirements
Find specific helps for some of the Personal Management merit badge requirements listed below. Some of these resources will just give the answers. Others will provide engaging ways for older Scouts to introduce these concepts to new Scouts.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 1: Family Purchase
Some Ways to Save Money for a Purchase
These will help you with the first requirement for the Personal Management merit badge.
- Trim the grocery bill
- Keep birthdays simple
- Buy secondhand items instead of new
- Have family members earn money buy mowing the lawn or babysitting
- Sell something you no longer use
- Watch for sales
- Comparison shop
- Research the item
- Consider less expensive alternatives
- Be wary of ads
- Don’t buy on impulse
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 2: Budget
Requirement 2 Helps and Answers
It is a plan for managing your money based on your income and expenses. You will need to understand this for the Personal Management merit badge.
How to Create a Budget
- Keep track of how you are earning and spending your money
- Calculate your monthly income
- Calculate your monthly expenses
- Set goals (including savings) for what you would like to do in the future
- Create a plan which includes those goals
- If necessary decide how you will increase your income or reduce your expenses to meet your goals
- Earn money for extra chores
- Mow lawns, babysit, do small jobs for elderly neighbors
- Sell toys and other items you no longer use
- Save monetary gifts you receive for birthdays and other occasions.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 3: Money Management Concepts
Requirement 3 Helps and Answers
The Emotions of Spending Money
Purchasing something can bring a short term feeling of happiness, but it won’t necessarily bring long term pleasure. So avoid impulse buying. Instead consider how you will spend your money in advance and if the purchase is worth the expense in the long run.
How the Amount of Money You Have Affects Your Spending Habits
If you have plenty of money to meet your daily needs you might be tempted to use what is left for something frivolous. But a better option would be to save it so when you need to purchase a larger item later, you have money saved up for it.
Purchasing New vs Used
Buying a used item will often save you a lot of money. You might not be able to find the exact item you are looking for or it might not be in perfect condition. But it is environmentally friendly to reuse items and it will cost less.
What Is Buyer’s Remorse?
Buyer’s remorse is a sense of regret after purchasing something. You might feel you paid too much. The product might not have been as great and wonderful as you thought it would be. Or you might come across a different product which you wished you had purchased instead.
How Does Hunger Affect You When Shopping for Food?
When you are hungry, your body is telling you to eat. And you may have the urge to eat immediately. So when you are hungry you feel a greater need to purchase a food item when you see it. It is better to go grocery shopping when you are not hungry.
The Impact of Advertising
Advertising is designed to make you want to spend your money on a product. So it is going to make it seem like the most wonderful thing ever. But sometimes things aren’t as great as the ads make them see. You should be aware of this when making purchases.
When you put your money in a savings account at a bank, it it protected against loss or theft by federal insurance. If you keep it at home and you lose it, then you won’t get it back. Plus a savings account earns some interest. Also, you will be less tempted to spend your money impulsively if it is in the bank.
What Is Charitable Giving?
If you have money you don’t need for your expenses you can share it with others through charitable giving. This will help those who are less fortunate meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, education, and medicine. Before doing any giving, research the charity to see if they use the money wisely. A website such as Charity Navigator can help with this.
Ways to Better Manage Your Money
One of the main purposes of the Personal Management merit badge is to learn how to manage money. Here are a few ways:
- Create a budget
- Keep track of your income and expenses
- Be careful with your spending
- Save some money every month
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 4: Saving and Investing
Requirement 4 Helps and Answers
- Your money is stored in a bank and earns a small amount of interest each month.
- Your money is insured by the federal government. You will not lose any of it.
- You purchase stocks and bonds.
- Their value increases or decreases depending on the market.
- You can loose money, so there is much more risk in investing.
- If your investments do well you will earn much more than you would in a savings account.
Return on Investment
The return on your investment is ratio of the amount of money you earned from an invested to the initial investment. A larger ROI represents a larger gain. Normally an investment which averages a larger ROI also carries more risk. This is an important topic for the Personal Management merit badge.
The Importance of Diversification
Diversification is a technique that reduces risk by allocating investments across various financial instruments, industries, and other categories. This way if one category does poorly, your overall portfolio can still earn a profit if the other investments do well.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 5: Investment Types
Requirement 5 Helps and Answers
Common stock is a security that represents ownership in a corporation. Holders of common stock elect the board of directors and vote on corporate policies.
A mutual fund is a company that pools money from many investors and invests the money in securities such as stocks, bonds, and short-term debt. The combined holdings of the mutual fund are known as its portfolio. Each share represents an investor’s part ownership in the fund and the income it generates.
Life insurance is a contract in which an insurer, in exchange for a premium, guarantees payment to an insured’s beneficiaries when the insured dies.
Term life insurance is the most basic and affordable. You purchase it for a term, such as a year. Usually it renews automatically. But if you do not renew, the policy ends.
Whole life insurance is a type of permanent insurance. It is more expensive. The premiums accumulate value. You can often borrow against the value or cash it in for its current value, although cashing it in will end the coverage.
Certificate of Deposit
A CD is an insured deposit which pays a fixed or variable income over a period of time, such as 3 years. The interest rate is a little better than a savings account, especially if you leave the money in longer. There may be a penalty if you take the money out too early.
A savings account is an insured account at a banking institution. These usually have the lowest interest rates. But the money is protected from loss and theft. And you can withdraw it at any time.
US Savings Bond
A U.S. savings bond is a government bond offered to its citizens to help fund federal spending, and which provides savers with a guaranteed, although modest return on investment.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 6: Insurance
Requirement 6 Helps and Answers
Getting auto insurance can offer reassurance in case you’re involved in an accident or the vehicle is stolen, vandalized or damaged by a natural disaster. It pays to repair damage to the vehicles involved. It also includes liability coverage in case you injure someone in an accident.
Health insurance typically pays for medical, surgical, prescription drug, and sometimes dental expenses in exchange for a monthly premium. Health insurance can reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury, or pay the care provider directly. It is often included in employer benefit packages.
Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance
Homeowners insurance covers the actual building you live in (and associated structures such as garages), as well as the personal property in the home. With renter’s insurance, the landlord will be expected to have coverage on the building, while your insurance will cover your personal property.
Information about different types of life insurance for the Personal Management merit badge.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 7: Loans and Debt
Requirement 7 Helps and Answers
What Is a Loan?
You will learn about different ways to borrow money for the Personal Management merit badge. One of these is a loan. A loan is money, property, or other material goods given to another party in exchange for future repayment of the loan value amount with interest.
What Is Interest?
Interest is the money you either owe when borrowing or are paid when lending money. The amount is calculated as a percentage of the loan. So if the loan amount is $1000 and the interest rate is 4%, then the interest due at the end of the year would be $40. This is an important topic for the Personal Management merit badge.
What Is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?
An annual percentage rate (APR) represents the actual yearly cost of funds over the term of a loan or income earned on an investment. It includes any fees or additional costs associated with the transaction, such as monthly payments and closing costs.
Different Ways to Borrow Money
- Bank loan
- Credit card
- Payday loans
- Borrowing from another person
Difference Between Charge Cards, Debit Cards, and Credit Cards
Credit cards will charge Interest if the balance is not paid in full by the end of the grace period (usually around 25 days). Charge cards require payment in full, so interest is not typically charged. Debit cards deduct the amount of purchases out of the associated checking or savings account immediately. You must have the money in the account to use the debit card.
Credit Card Issues
- You will be charged interest on the balance on your credit card.
- If you only pay the minimum the interest charges will add up quickly.
- Carrying a large balance negatively impacts your credit score, which makes it more difficult to borrow money in the future.
What Is a Credit Report?
A credit report is a statement that has information about your credit activity and current credit situation such as loan paying history and the status of your credit accounts. Lenders use these reports to help them decide if they will loan you money, what interest rates they will offer you. Lenders also use your credit report to determine whether you continue to meet the terms of an existing credit account. Other businesses might use your credit reports to determine whether to offer you insurance; rent a house or apartment to you; provide you with cable TV, internet, utility, or cell phone service.
How Does Personal Responsibility Affect Your Credit Report?
This is something you must learn about for the Personal Management merit badge. If you do not use credit responsibility you can get into serious debt. The interest you owe becomes more than you can pay. If you stop paying, then this is recorded on your credit report. So when you try to borrow money later, lenders will be less willing to let you borrow or will charge a higher interest rate because they think there is a higher risk that you won’t repay your debt. Potential employers might check your credit rating before hiring you. If you have a poor report, they might consider you to be irresponsible and not offer you a job.
Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Debt
For requirement 7 for the Personal Management merit badge:
- Stop paying with credit. Cut up your credit cards so you can’t use them.
- Only use cash. If you don’t have the cash available, then you can’t make the purchase.
- Don’t purchase things you don’t need.
- Make a budget and stick to it.
- Earn more income by doing additional work.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 8: Time Management
For requirement 8 for the Personal Management merit badge.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 9: Project Management
Steps in Project Planning
- What is your goal?
- What is the timeline?
- How will the project accomplish the goal?
- What resources are available?
- What is the budget?
Looking for a project? Consider organizing a Kodiak Challenge for the older youth in your unit. They will learn to set goals, plan, and execute an adventure. A special award is available for youth who complete the Kodiak Challenge.
Personal Management Merit Badge Requirement 10: Careers
Requirement 10 Helps and Answers
Careers vary from needing less than a high school degree to needing an advanced degree and experience. See the range of qualifications to help fulfill requirement 10 for the Personal Management merit badge.
You want to make sure that the money you are putting into education is worth it. This site explores the return on investment for a lot of different types of jobs.
he Project Planning feature helps youth leaders learn how to accomplish their goals, whether that be a service project or a troop campout or planning other activities together. The troop does a group exercise of planning and carrying out a recycle regatta. The program feature includes some general information and some more specific ideas for meetings:
Designed to Crunch Scouts BSA Nova Award
Designed to Crunch is the Scouts BSA Nova Award for mathematics. Earning the Personal Management merit badge will fulfill one of the requirements for this award.