Shelby: If you have ever seen a Girl Scout in uniform, you have probably noticed her badges. But have you ever taken a closer look?
And you might think badges are only about being a good citizen and learning first aid but what about a ‘money manager’ badge? Or a ‘good credit’ badge?
Ok, ladies. We are here because we heard you have new financial literacy and cookie badges. We want to learn more about them. Have you earned one yet?
“I do. I’ve earned my ‘finance my dreams badge.’ And I’m working on my ‘business plan badge.’
Shelby: This year, the Girl Scouts unveiled 13 new badges on financial literacy.
“One of the financial literacy badges I’m working on right now is called ‘on my own,’ and it’s all about budgeting.
Shelby: So, what financial badgs do you have?
“I have one that’s ‘financial independence.’”
Shelby: So, what did you have to do to get this badge?
“It was mostly learning about business and controlling your money, managing it. And also cookie sales. How you do, your profits, organizing and setting goals.
Shelby: Girls can earn those financial badges by doing everything from coming up with a business plan to understanding a mortgage, which is a loan people get to pay for their homes.
The girls say it has helped them learn more about what is realistic in life. Wanting a big house, and a bunch of cool stuff is one thing, but knowing how to pay for them and not get in debt is another. And that is why the Girls Scouts added these badges. Because studies show that teens don’t learn enough about money in school. In fact, in a recent survey about basic money questions, American high school students scored just 48%, essentially failing! That is the lowest score in the survey’s history.
And many experts point to our country’s economic problems right now and say that if consumers were more finanically aware, many of them could have avoided getting involved in risky loans and taking on more debt than they could really afford.
“I found out that a lot of things cost a lot of money and that loans will be made in banks, so by learning about this now, I know how to prepare for my future.”
Shelby: A big house with a big loan is something Maribel learned about firsthand. For her ‘financing my dreams badge,’ she figured out that her dream house would cost $2 million. To pay for that house, should would have to get a mortgage or a loan from a bank. And best case scenario, pay around 4% in interest. That puts her monthly payment at almost $10,000. That is right, each month — until 2042! To put it in perspective, the average income for most Americans is around 4,000 a month.
But handling money isn’t exactly new to the Girl Scouts. Girls in the program have been learning about making a profit for nearly 100 years just by selling the famous, and delicious, Girl Scouts cookies.
Well, a big part of Girl Scouts is selling Girl Scout cookies.
“And for Girl Scout cookies, we have to budget our money, we have to count our profits, and we have to first set a goal — which is really important.”
Shelby: Each year, more than 2 million girls across the country help the organization bring in more than $700 million in cookie sales.
When cookie sales kick off in February, Katie’s goal is to sell 600 boxes!
How many did you sell last year?
Katie: Last year, I sold about 300.
Shelby: So, you have to double it?
Shelby: Would you be thinking about this stuff if you weren’t in Girl Scouts?
“I don’t think I’d be trying to plan for my future and trying to save up.”
“Well, the advice I would give to people is decision making, because what you decide to do now definitely reflects on your future and how you’re going to live when you’re older.”
Shelby: A future these girls are preparing for, one cookie at a time.
Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.