Your great-grandparents paid their bills with cash they kept in a mattress or coffee can. They simply counted their money. Your grandparents wrote checks for everything and meticulously maintained their check register. Your parents pay for everything with a debit card and check their balance via online banking. You perhaps will use a smartphone or smartwatch app to pay for things in your lifetime, but you need a reliable and dependable way to manage the money in your bank account. Even though the way you pay is changing drastically, the principles behind managing that account stay the same.
Oklahoma Personal Financial Literacy Standard 4: The student will demonstrate the ability to balance a checkbook and reconcile financial accounts.
This lesson will equip the student with the necessary skills to be able to manage a bank account throughout their life by presenting the necessary skills, then having them utilize those skills over two weeks’ time.
- Materials from https://mrgragg.com/personal-financial-literacy/curriculum/managing-a-bank-account/
- Check Register (2 per student)
- Transaction list (One for teacher)
- Bank Statement (2 per each student)
- Ask students if it is important for a person to know exactly how much money is in their bank account.
- Answers will vary, some will say no.
- Use the “no” answers as a chance to explain to the students why this is important, i.e. not overdrawing their account, knowing whether they can afford something.
- Ask students how they can keep track of their bank accounts.
- Answers will vary from online, an app, computer program to some that may say a check register.
- Introduce the concept of a check register, explaining that no matter the method of payment, the basics behind a check register apply.
- Pass out a blank check register to each student.
- Briefly explain the transaction codes to the students.
- Disseminate the information from the transaction list.
- Use projector or read it aloud.
- Have students calculate the new balances.
- Pass out the bank statement and walk students through how to reconcile their register.
- The final statement balance ($1,131.05)
- Check off cleared transactions.
- Verify amounts.
- Reconcile uncleared transactions.
- The final register balance ($796.26)
- Ask students if they now see a value in maintaining a check register.
- Give each student an additional blank check register for them to use for the next two weeks.