Friday, February 03, 2017

Savvy Shopper Badge

Due to some life changes, Tessa and I are mostly Juliette-ing it this year...in regard to badgework anyway. I'm sad to say, it's been pretty slow going. We're finding most Junior badges take a good deal more time than those of Brownies. (If I had to peg it, I'd say at least three good meetings worth. Eek!) We're also finding many of the badges difficult to access, as it seems a lot of them require going somewhere, finding an expert to talk to, etc. As a result, we've been stalling out after 2-4 steps. I'm happy to report that we have managed to make it the entire way through the Junior Savvy Shopper Financial Literacy Badge, though. Yeah!

The full requirements for earning the Savvy Shopper Badge can be found in The Junior Girl Scout's Guide to Girl Scouting. The resources listed below are the ones we used to fulfill these requirements.

Savvy Shopper Badge


Savvy Shopper

Food and water, clean clothes, a place to live: These are things everyone needs. A closet full of shoes, a new desk, tickets to the movie: These are things people want. But how do you figure out what you need and what you want? You might find it's not as easy as you think!

Steps

1. Explore your needs and wants. Pick one of the following choices to start exploring the difference between your needs and your wants.
  • Completed Choice #2 - Make a collage.
  • Completed Growing Girls Wants to Needs Banner.

    This step built on what Tessa learned from the Daisy Making Choices and Brownie Philanthropist badges. Since she has also studied this concept in school, we wanted to do something a little different than simply sort needs and wants again. The badge step choice we picked requires organizing 50 items in a progression from things Tessa thinks are wants to those she thinks are needs. The idea of creating a really long banner popped into my head. Tessa thought it cool, so we went with it. We jumped on the Web and started our search for 50 perfect pieces of clip art. Ok, wow. Not as easy as it might sound. LOL! In time, we found an illustrator with a bit of an edgy/hipster look that Tessa adored and thought other Juniors would like too.

Although Tessa had completed our banner several times during the testing phase, she wanted to do it one last time...to make it official for her badge. The banner looks cooler stretched out 11 feet across the floor, but it was cold this day. We opted to divide it into three segments and work on it on the table while shutting ourselves into the school room with a space heater. We taped it all together at the end.
Although Tessa had completed our banner several times during the testing phase, she wanted to do it one last time...to make it official for her badge. The banner looks cooler stretched out 11 feet across the floor, but it was cold this day. We opted to divide it into three segments and work on it on the table while shutting ourselves into the school room with a space heater. We taped it all together at the end.

Sorting 50 items in order of importance is challenging. Tessa knew what her needs were, but found it difficult to prioritize them. I think she ended up with the sun being her primary need. Having lost our beloved wire fox terrier of 15 years a few months ago, a pet was her number one want.
Sorting 50 items in order of importance is challenging. Tessa knew what her needs were, but found it difficult to prioritize them. I think she ended up with the sun being her primary need. Having lost our beloved wire fox terrier of 15 years a few months ago, a pet was her number one want.

2. Look into why you want what you want. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between what you need and what you want. Advertisers create exciting commercials to convince you to buy things. Or you might want something simply because your best friend has it. Think about all the forces that make you want something you may not need.
  • Completed Choice #3 - Do some time travel.
  • Researched popular toys, clothes, and games from the 1950s and then talked about how girls' needs and wants from this era compare to girls' from today.

    Tessa has an American Girl Maryellen historical doll whose story begins in 1954. She recently read Maryellen's books and decided to use them as the springboard for earning this step. We had great fun early one afternoon researching and watching old toy commercials on YouTube. Visit my Savvy Shopper Badge Ideas Pinterest board to view the Web site we used to research toys, games, and fashion of the 1950s and links to retro TV commercials for Barbie, Slinky, Colorforms, and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. There's links for other eras and ideas as well.

    Although Tessa opted not to use them, I also designed surveys for Choice #2 - Investigate the latest trends. They may be found within my Growing Girls Love It! Hate It! Investigate It! activity pack.

3. Find out what makes people happy (or not!) with what they buy. "Buyer's remorse" is the sense of disappointment people sometimes have after buying an expensive item. Often, they've convinced themselves that they really need something--like the latest video game or a new necklace--only to discover afterwards that it wasn't truly necessary. Of course, when you think through your reasons for buying something and save the money to get it, you can end up feeling very happy with your purchase.
  • Completed Choice #3 - Trade stories with friends.
  • Completed Growing Girls Love It! Hate It! draw-and-write prompts.

    Isn't it funny how you can think of certain things all day long until you actually need to come up with an example on the spot. Tessa and I found thinking of products we love and hate a challenge while completing this badge step. Another challenge was the notion that girls Tessa's age buy their own stuff, which I don't really think is the case. Most of the time, the money they do spend is given to them, which isn't the same as earning it. Until a girl earns, spends, and loses her own money, I think understanding the feeling of buyer's remorse is a difficult one to grasp. Since Tessa rarely shakes out her piggy bank, she simply chose items from among the possessions she considers her own.

    Despite these small challenges, I think the overall concept of this step is a good one. We enjoyed telling stories about the things we love and hate, which precipitated a meaningful discussion about preventing buyer's remorse. Tessa impressed me by coming up with some surprisingly thoughtful tips.

Tessa chose to draw a watch that she received for Christmas as her "love it." She rated it four stars because it's digital and she loves its colors. She had a heck of a time coming up with a "hate it." She finally decided on a cheap purple plastic backscratcher she won at a school carnival years ago that snapped in two after just a few scratches. Apparently, she still greatly laments its loss. LOL! She rated it two-and-half stars for its color and styling.
Tessa chose to draw a watch that she received for Christmas as her "love it." She rated it four stars because it's digital and she loves its colors. She had a heck of a time coming up with a "hate it." She finally decided on a cheap purple plastic backscratcher she won at a school carnival years ago that snapped in two after just a few scratches. Apparently, she still greatly laments its loss. LOL! She rated it two-and-half stars for its color and styling.

4. Learn how to decide what to buy. Even when you're buying something you need, you'll find you might have certain wants. For example, you may need a computer for school--but you want the top-of-the-line model with a super-fast processor. You may need new running shoes--buy you want a famous brand. Practice making these decisions on a pretend shopping trip (you don't need to actually buy anything).
  • Completed Choice #2 - Shop for groceries.
  • Completed Growing Girls Shop & Compare.

    This badge step is extremely difficult to bring to the troop meeting setting. I lead both Brownies and Juniors in our multi-level troop last year. While working on the financial literacy badges, I stuck very close to the activity outlined in the Savvy Shopper badge guide for Choice #1. Instead of going to the mall, which wasn't practical for our rural troop, I had our Juniors use Staples ads and a worksheet I created to compare the options and costs of laptops. As I suspected, they had zero understanding of what one should look for when buying a computer and based their decisions on aesthetic appeal and cost alone. I wasn't surprised, as I doubt most adults know either. Long story short, I don't recommend going this route for this step. Hah!

    Since Choices #1 and #3 are very similar, we opted for #2. I knew Tessa would be too distracted by the comings and goings of other customers, if we tried completing this step in store as suggested. Instead, I created a set of shopping cards with prices pulled from our local Walmart store and a financial literacy worksheet to illustrate the same concept.

Tessa picked her favorite foods from five food category cards, compared them to lower-priced options within the same food categories, made second-choice picks and then recorded prices for both. She figured up the difference between her favorite foods and lower-priced options to find her total savings.
Tessa picked her favorite foods from five food category cards, compared them to lower-priced options within the same food categories, made second-choice picks and then recorded prices for both. She figured up the difference between her favorite foods and lower-priced options to find her total savings.

Using a calculator was a special treat that made completing this activity even more fun. I was well pleased with how everything turned out. Tessa did very well with it. The concept seemed to click and we both enjoyed sharing our foods picks, savings, and thoughts about what we might buy with the money we saved.
Using a calculator was a special treat that made completing this activity even more fun. I was well pleased with how everything turned out. Tessa did very well with it. The concept seemed to click and we both enjoyed sharing our foods picks, savings, and thoughts about what we might buy with the money we saved.

5. Make a plan to buy something you need or want.
 Now you're ready to put what you've learned about wants and needs into action! Once you've set your goal, create a budget and a plan.
  • Completed Choice #3 - Look into your future!
  • Completed Growing Girls Needs & Wants Time Capsule.

    Last year's Juniors created time capsules out of empty toilet paper rolls. Tessa had long wanted to make a time capsule of some sort, so I knew exactly which choice she would pick for this step.

    While I thought a toilet paper roll time capsule a clever idea at the time, its small size left no room for graphics. Designing my own pillow box as the capsule allowed me greater design freedom. Tessa, my husband, and I brainstormed ideas for a theme for the new version. We thought about a space theme, but that seemed too cliche. We considered a shopping theme, buy that seemed a little bland. Then, we got to thinking about animals that store food for winter. Squirrels immediately came to mind. I pulled up some graphics, Tessa fell in love, and the deal was sealed. Tessa and I conferred throughout this project on which were the cutest squirrels to use.

Tessa and I recorded what we thought our needs and wants would be in ten years. She considered her life as a twenty-year-old young college woman and wrote down "boyfriend" among her needs. Her father (and I) strongly disagreed.
Tessa and I recorded what we thought our needs and wants would be in ten years. She considered her life as a twenty-year-old young college woman and wrote down "boyfriend" among her needs. Her father (and I) strongly disagreed.

The time capsule was Tessa's favorite part of the Junior Savvy Shopper badge. She was super psyched and got creative with her coloring. She even sketched a bed for her squirrel to comfortably rest in for the next ten years.
The time capsule was Tessa's favorite part of the Junior Savvy Shopper badge. She was super psyched and got creative with her coloring. She even sketched a bed for her squirrel to comfortably rest in for the next ten years.


Our completed Savvy Shopper time capsules. I colored my squirrel gray since Tessa chose brown. She thought my pink acorn totally nutty.
Our completed Savvy Shopper time capsules. I colored my squirrel gray since Tessa chose brown. She thought my pink acorn totally nutty.

Purpose

When I've earned this badge, I'll know the difference between what I need and what I want--and I'll be able to smartly save money for both.


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Looking for more Savvy Shopper badge ideas?

Check out my entire Girl Scout Juniors - "Savvy Shopper" Activity Pack Bundle - All 5 Steps! printable scouting helper.