Before Personal Finance: A Simple and Fun Tool for Teaching Money Management

It's summer time and there are so many opportunities for fun ... and so many opportunities to spend money! Is your tween a spender, or a saver? Does your tween blow through money as soon as it hits her hand? Or does he hoard it, afraid to spend because he never knows what upcoming opportunity he might miss out on?

Learning Money Management the Fun Way!

Even if we talk with our children about the principles of managing and saving money, it can be hard for them to really understand until they see the impact actual choices make on their bank balances. But what if they could experiment and experience the effect of their choices without having to risk their own actual money?

Our favorite money management curriculum simulates 20 years of adult life including important financial decision and even unexpected events!

Beyond Personal Finance Course for Teens

Beyond Personal Finance is a money management curriculum designed for 13-18 year-olds. Each lesson in the course simulates one year of adult life. Students keep a spreadsheet and track the impact of their choices on their savings accounts from year to year. They have to plan for expenses and incorporate "plot twists" into their budgets.

Before Personal Finance Course for Tweens

In 2024, Beyond Personal Finance released a new course designed for tweens (ages 8-12) called Before Personal Finance. It is built on the same foundations and principles as Beyond Personal Finance: allowing kids to experience the impact of their spending and saving choices ... without using their own actual money!

Instead of jumping into grown-up financial topics like rent or mortgage, insurance, and childcare, Before Personal Finance focused on the income and spending options available to teens and simulates life between 13 and 22.

Income Opportunities

Tweens simulate life as "Future You" who starts at 13 and gets a year older in each lesson. They start by making choices with birthday money from grandparents. At 14, "Future You" can start earning money by babysitting, dog walking, or mowing lawns. As they get older lesson by lesson, they have the opportunity to look for a part-time job.

Spending Decisions

Each lesson in Before Personal Finance also includes spending opportunities where students have to make choices about how to use their money. The "Shop" page shows purchase choices ranging from new shoes and video games for the 13 yo "Future You" to car options for the 16 yo and room decor for the 19 yo new college student or member of the work force.

Students make a budget during each lesson including money carried over from the previous lesson (year), current income, and expenses. Plus, each budget includes a "Plot Twist" to simulate those unexpected expenses! And if your student completes their budget and the results are less than encouraging? They have a Do Over budget opportunity in each lesson to try new choices and see the outcome!

More Fun in Each Lesson

Each Before Personal Finance lesson includes a fun activity such as a word search, maze, matching, or other activity related to money, finances, and budgeting. There's also a "People Who Made a Difference" page that highlights a historical person who had an impact on banking, finances, or economics.

More Thoughts from Lynna

I made an Instagram Reel about this awesome workbook so you could get a peek inside!


Lynna Sutherland is a homeschool mother of eight always-homeschooled kiddos ranging in age from high school to kindergarten. She loves to encourage parents in the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling and offer creative ways to manage a large family and a multi-age homeschool!

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