Students in an accounting classes learn bookkeeping methods and principles. Accounting teaches students how to analyze and record a business’ financial transactions, but it can also teach them how to use money in their personal lives. Tailor accounting activities to fit students’ grade level and prior accounting knowledge.
Older students can volunteer to monitor a local non-profit’s financial transactions for a period of time. Search for non-profits that are willing to mentor a student and teach him about their cause or work. During this time, the student can work with a mentor who can show him how the non-profit organization organizes its money. The student can also be in charge of creating basic worksheets that show where the organization’s money goes and if it’s meeting its goals. At the end of the assignment, students should create a presentation that shows how they worked with the company, the company’s goals and if their financial transactions are working to meet those goals. Students should also share the worksheets they’ve created for the non-profit’s financial transactions.
Build a Business
Students in an advanced accounting class will learn many aspects of money management and the basics of running a business by creating a fake company. Students should have a month to create and manage a fake business. This business can be anything, and students should choose a business that interests them. For instance, a student who plays the guitar can start a business that gives guitar lessons or he could open a music store. For the month, the student should create a business plan that discusses where he will get his start-up capital and how he will distribute it. He should create fake transactions and record them in a ledger. At the end of his month, he should make a final accounting for all of his transactions and expenses to determine if his business was profitable. He should analyze what he could do differently and how he might change things if he were really running the business.
Students can apply accounting principals to real-world budgeting with an activity that teaches them how their career choice covers local cost-of-living expenses. First, students should choose a career path and a city in which to live. After researching how much that job pays and what education they’ll need to meet its requirements, they can set up a monthly budget that includes enough money allotted for housing in the city they choose, money for education if the career requires it, transportation, car insurance, taxes, health care and other personal expenses. After students create a monthly budget, tell them that they must also put money into savings. After they create a basic budget, have students figure out how much money they’ll have left and if it’s a livable amount.
- Calculator image by Alhazm Salemi from Fotolia.com