QUICK HIT: The second volume of Generation Change is all about practicality: budgeting and saving, planning for emergencies and investing, and giving. These 20 minute long lessons fit perfectly into an hour long small group session and come perfectly packaged for leaders to easily read through, watch, and then teach. Even I as a leader found myself taking notes!
After spending three weeks focusing on the inner life side of personal finance, Ramsey and Cruze flip the coin and spend three weeks dealing with the outer life side of personal finance in Generation Change: Do. While series one put all the moving pieces together, series two presses the start button and begins to move the machine.
Just like in series one, Dave Ramsey partners with his daughter, Rachel Cruze, to emcee the lesson series. Over the past twenty years, Ramsey has made a name for himself in the world of personal finance, helping hundreds of thousands of people get out of debt. Rachel has taken that message to the youth, both in her Smart Money, Smart Kids book and in this lesson series as well. It’s so awesome to see that, after spending years dealing with the problem, Ramsey has put together a solid curriculum intended to stop the problem before it starts.
The first lesson in this series is all about budgeting and saving. Students learned how to do a budget at the end of the first series, but they get into the nitty-gritty here in this lesson as they go through the video, through case studies, and are encouraged to track their own spending for a week.
My recommendation for leaders here is to be completely transparent. Consider sharing with your class a sample of your own budget or your own week’s worth of expenses. Show them what it’s like to be an adult and pay the bills. I know when I first moved out on my own, I had no idea how much certain bills—water, electric, insurances, etc.—should even cost. Having a real example in front of them is a powerful way to draw them into the lesson. It also shows that you as a leader are practicing what you preach.
The second lesson is all about math, particularly the words compound interest. Investing for the future is an important step most young adults (and even older adults) miss, but Dave and Rachel show the benefits of investing early. It doesn’t even have to be a huge amount. The other important lesson brought up here is the emergency fund: an amount equal to 3-6 months of expenses that will take sure of any sudden need for money.
The third lesson focuses on giving. I absolutely love this. For me (though I’m a far stretch from wealthy), one of the greatest things about financial stability is the ability to give. Money is congealed life. You exchange part of your life for money. When you give of your money, you give of yourself. Dave and Rachel talk in depth about the principles of giving, the benefits of giving, and how to become a great giver.
Like the previous lessons in this series, each video runs about twenty minutes long. The teacher lesson book is top-notch, integrating perfectly with the student handbook and suggesting several great introductory object lessons and discussion questions. As always, be sure to watch the videos ahead of time and identify a few key points that apply to your youth group in particular. For instance, about 25% of my youth group has med school plans for the future. That definitely effects how I teach through this material.
Of the three Generation Change series, this series is my favorite for its simple practicality. I cannot stress enough how badly this teaching is needed or how revolutionary it has been to teach through it.