Earning this financial literacy badge is very simple and can be completed in one to two meetings. It is a nice way to start them down the road of managing Troop finances.


All girls know what it means to trade. What child has not gone trick-or-treating and said “I’ll trade you my 2 Tootsie Pops for your Butterfinger”?

Hands on activity:

1. Chooses a craft or snack, it really does not matter what as long as it requires a lot of items or skill sets. Explain to the girls what they are going to make and be sure to show all the items or skills they need. Then sit them down in front of “their” supplies. Each girl will have something they need, but missing something else. Tell them they must trade with each other until they have what they each need and everyone is happy. Someone may have all the glue, while another girl may be the only one who knows how to write yet. Once everyone has what they need, they have learned the ancient system of bartering.

2. The story of Jack and the Beanstalk deals with bartering, money, wants versus needs, as well as stealing and might be fun to read with your girls. Older girls could even act out the story for younger ones.

3 The girls might enjoy looking at library books showing ancient coins that have been discovered.

The Wampanoag Indian word for beads mad from whelk or clam shells was wampumpeag, from which the word wampum derived from. These rare shells were ground iNTO cylinder shaped beads and then drilled with a hole to allow them to be strung as a necklace or woven into clothing. In 1637 the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared it was legal tender. Purple beads were worth twice as much as the white ones.

4. This is an opportunity to have the girls make their own necklaces. Younger girls might use simple pony beads. Older girls can use thin wire to thread stones or wrap stones or shells and use as a pendant.


1. Supplies Needed: Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars, Susan B Anthony, gold dollar, $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, magnifying glass, blindfold.

Spread the money on the table and discuss how they are similar and what makes them each different. For the coins you can show the name of various aspects.

Field – the blank background
Portrait – the face on the coin
Date – when the coin was produced
Mint Mark – under the date, identifies where the coin was produced.
Edge – the flat circumference of the coin. When coins were still made from precious metals, smooth-edged coins were less valuable as they allowed people to shave off metal. The ridges were designed to prevent that as it would become obvious when someone has attempted to do that. Today, different coins have smooth or ridged edges to assist the visually impaired to easily identify one coin from another.
Rim – the place where the field and edge meet.

Use the magnifying glass to closely examine the money. Hold bills up to the light and find which one has a bar in the paper and discuss why it is there. This is important for the girls to learn so that they accept only authentic currency. The blindfold is to see how many girls can recognize one coin or bill from another.

2. If you live in the right area you could get a tour of a mint. The rest of us can view a cartoon that shows the process.


I often hear “I need a coffee this morning” or “I need a new pair of shoes” As Christmas draws near it becomes “I want that!” SO what is the difference between a need and a want? We all NEED clothes, but do we need 3 winter coats? Do we NEED the $80 pair of jeans or would a $40 pair work just as well?

Hands on activity:
1.Have a place on the wall girls can come tape pictures. Give them magazines and newspaper ads to cut out pictures. Let them tape the picture to the side labeled NEED or WANT according to what they think it is. Discuss how they did. Now discuss what does the Troop NEED to do this year, versus what does it WANT to do this year.


I had just told my son I did not have the money for something and his first response was “well, write a check!” Now his younger sisters would say “Use your debit card” but the problem is the same. They did not understand that money does not just magically appear to be handed over to the cashier.

Because every Troop is different, this will be a unique discussion for your group. Are you just starting out and have nothing in the bank account, or do you have a lot of money left over from cookie sales last spring. Do you charge dues, or does your Troop have a sponsor? Once the girls earn the money, where does it go?

Hands on activity:
1.Visit a local bank. The girls especially love the vault. You could ask which girls have a savings account and try to go to the bank most use. Another option is to see if parents would all be willing to allow their child to open a savings account on your visit.

If the girls are considering a fund RAISERS, this can help them decide what they want to do.

Hands on activity:

2.A producer make an a good or service for the consumer. For example, Girl Scouts make cookies for friends and family to buy. Use the attached sheet to see if they can draw a line from the producer, to the good or service they provide and finally, link that to the consumer who needs it.


3.If the girls are the producer, what good or service can they provide that people would be willing to pay for?


Now comes the fun part, spending the money you just learned about. As a Troop the girls need to learn early that everything they do costs money. While they may not grasp the entire concept, they can understand having enough or not.

Hands on activity:

1 Bring in various items the girls can “purchase” Depending on your girls, this can be real or pretend. Tag everything with a price and give each girl the same amount of money. Allow them to peruse the store and decide what they can afford to buy. A real store might have fun pencils purchased at the Dollar Store, or even candy. A fake store could have a can of spinach, stuffed animals or even clothing. Girls can decide to pool their money for a big-ticket item they can share, such as a pizza, or cake. The point is to get them thinking about what they have to spend and the cost of items

2 Pull these concepts together, and decide what the Troop can afford to do this year. If you have already done a money earning activity, discuss what you have for funds and what the girls want to do. If you have not yet earned your money for the year, discuss how important it is to set personal goals as well as a Troop goal. You can also decide if you need/want to do another fund-raiser to make up the difference.

3. Make a piggy bank.


Now the girls have the chance to provide service to others. Depending on what they want to do, it may or may not cost money. The important thing is to connect their skill and knowledge to someone who needs help. This can be a simple act of service or a larger Take Action Project. If they have done a Journey this is a good time to connect what funds the girls have to the service project they want to do. Make sure they remember to save money for that project when they plan their fun activities.



About keepingiteasyandsimple

I have been married for 20 years and have 3 children. My oldest is 20 and currently in the National Guard. My daughters are 15 and 11 and involved in everything. I believe life is difficult enough, that we can find ways to make the everyday just a little easier and perhaps even more simple. I love to cook, shop and make things with the kids.

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