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Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class and the event the class is being held in conjunction with that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. (Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you should have forwarded your Blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.) If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.

Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.†† If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide directions as to where one can find the answers.  It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event.

You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST.





Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Personal Management Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

5.†A positive Scouting focus and attitude

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work


Note: This merit badge requires a lot of explanation and discussion in order to complete most requirements.  This class is structured to offer explanation and discussion time for Scouts in a small group setting to offer both learning and earning opportunity.  Scouts MUST come to the class with preparation work in order to successfully complete these requirements.  It will be virtually impossible for Scouts who do not have preparation work done to successfully partake in the group discussions or provide acceptable explanation if they do not have prior knowledge of the requirements and answers prior to the class.


Items appearing in brown are for sample use only to give Scouts an understanding of the type of responses a merit badge counselor might be looking for.  These examples are given as reference points only and are NOT meant to give Scouts a shortcut to fulfilling the requirement on their own.


1. Do the following:

a. Choose an item that your family might want to purchase that is considered a major expense

Items to consider for this component of the requirement might include anything from a car, a home, or a family vacation

Example: television

b. Write a plan that tells how your family would save money for the purchase identified in requirement 1a

1. Discuss the plan with your merit badge counselor

2. Discuss the plan with your family

3. Discuss how other family needs must be considered in this plan

Items to consider might be as follows:

Dining Out - Going out to eat less means Mom or Dad need to cook more often. Must check with their schedules, or learn how to cook for the family myself; 

Energy Saving -  Thermostat changes might make others less comfortable; will need to evaluate family comfort as we go along; 

Income I can contribute - Need to make sure lawn jobs fit into family schedule and do not inconvenience others in the family

The important thing to make sure you do is spell out your plan and have it written out for the counselor to confirm.  In addition you may want to have family members sign off on your plan as an added way to show the counselor that you have discussed this plan with your family.  Some counselors may not sign you off without some sort of confirmation from others in your family that you actually discussed the plan.  Sign off on your documented plan by one or more family members will be very helpful.   You may also want to include ideas from other family members in your discussion of the plan to help you with the "discuss how other family needs must be considered in this plan" requirement

c. Develop a written shopping strategy for the purchase identified in requirement 1a

1. Determine the quality of the item or service (using consumer publications or rating systems)

I searched for TV reviews on reviews.XYZ.com, and user reviews on major retail sites: BuyMeBest.com, and TVs-R-US.com. I received my parentsí permission to use the internet and did these searches. I found that the XYZ Editors like the Panasonic 123 TV, but it was pricier than the Samsung 456 TV. I also checked out reviews at Consumerreports.org and consumersearch.com and have included copies of my research with printouts attached to this workbook. The reviews did not seem to indicate any serious problems with the Samsungís reliability, so only the picture quality seemed to be different.  I have highlighted the major identified differences on the attached documents.    I went with my family to compare the TVs side-by-side and see which one is the best value for the money.  We went to Target, K-Mart, Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy.   The Panasonic is the best picture, but the Samsung is a lot cheaper. We thought the Samsung was the best value for the money; the video quality was good enough, and the difference would not be obvious without a higher quality TV nearby.

2. Comparison shop for the item. Find out where you can buy the item for the best price. (Provide prices from at least two different price sources.) Call around; study ads. Look for a sale or discount coupon. Consider alternatives. Can you buy the item used? Should you wait for a sale?

Walmart $100.00       Target  $110.00     Best Buy  $ 99.00     K-Mart $120.00        Home Depot did not have model we wanted         Amazon.com  $ 83.00

Called Best Buy and Target and there are no coups or discounts for either models right now.  I also checked online at their websites as well as K-Mart and Walmart.  I found other vendors online that offered the item but were more expensive than the retail outlets my family and I researched.  Most of these site listed the item as being out of stock while the retail stores actually had inventory of these items.  I did however find that on Amazon.com that both new and used items are offered but both models are too new to have any used models available at this time.  Amazon did have new models available for far less than most retail stores and listed numerous new ones in stock and available from smaller online vendors.  I also checked the Sunday newspaper ads but did not find any sales on these items.


2. Do the following:

a. Prepare a budget reflecting your expected income (allowance, gifts, wages), expenses, and savings. Track your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks. (You may use the forms provided in the merit badge pamphlet, devise your own, or use a computer-generated version.) When complete, present the results to your merit badge counselor

See the Sample Budget Plan in the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Pamphlet Book or develop your own.  It is recommended that you use the merit badge pamphlet sample as a basis to build your own.  This requirement will be impossible to finish in time for the merit badge class unless you already have it done.  However it is STRONGLY recommended that you get started on this right away and bring your chart to the class for review with your merit badge counselor. Your merit badge counselor will be able to review this with you and give you guidance on ways to improve your tracking as well as items to pay special attention to. 

In addition you will need to track your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks.  This should tie directly in with your Sample Budget and will also take time to complete.  Start tracking today and bring your tracking with you for review with your counselor at the class also.  I have attached a PDF document as an alternate choice you may use for tracking these two tasks

This is one of the requirements that most Scouts find difficult to complete and end up putting off causing them not to finish.  Getting a start on this prior to the class and bringing your chart with marked progress on it will ensure that you have an easier time completing this requirement.

With your parent's permission and practicing proper internet safety, you may find it helpful to do a web search on "How to set up a Personal Budget" for ideas and helps in completing this requirement

b. Compare expected income with expected expenses

1. If expenses exceed income, determine steps to balance your budget

2. If income exceeds expenses, state how you would use the excess money (new goal, savings)

For this requirement Scouts are urged to use the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Workbook and write down their thoughts for each component of this requirement.  Having this written out will help your counselor determine your completion of this requirement.  When writing this requirement out things to keep in mind might be:

- if expenses exceed income: cut back (do without, do with less), earn more (jobs, sell things you donít need, etc.) Provide specific ideas that apply to your situation.

- if income exceeds expenses: SAVE for college!!! New goal (camping gear, athletic accessories, gifts)


3. Discuss with your merit badge counselor FIVE of the following concepts:

a. The emotions you feel when you receive money.

b. Your understanding of how the amount of money you have with you affects your spending habits

c. Your thoughts when you buy something new and your thoughts about the same item three months later. Explain the concept of buyer's remorse

d. How hunger affects you when shopping for food items (snacks, groceries)

e. Your experience of an item you have purchased after seeing or hearing advertisements for it. Did the item work as well as advertised?

f. Your understanding of what happens when you put money into a savings account

g. Charitable giving. Explain its purpose and your thoughts about it.

h. What you can do to better manage your money.

Scouts should be prepared for discussion of the following requirement items. It is recommended that you make notes ahead of time and look up any terms or concepts that you may not be familiar with prior to the class.  Mark your notes, thoughts and finding in your Merit Badge Workbook.  This will also assist the merit badge counselor in assessing whether you understand the concepts and have done the work.  Since most of the discussion points will be in a group environment you will want to have additional proof for your counselor your understanding and thoughts for these items.

Here is a link to help you with requirement 3c: 
Buyers Remorse.


4. Explain the following to your merit badge counselor:

a. The differences between saving and investing, including reasons for using one over the other.

b. The concepts of return on investment and risk.

c. The concepts of simple interest and compound interest and how these affected the results of your investment exercise.

Same as above, Scouts should be prepared for discussion of the following requirement items. It is recommended that you make notes ahead of time and look up any terms or concepts that you may not be familiar with prior to the class.  It i recommended that you mark your notes, thoughts, and findings in your Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook.  This will also assist the merit badge counselor in assessing whether you understand the concepts and have done the work.  Since most of the discussion points will be in a group environment you will want to have additional proof for your counselor of your understanding and thoughts for these items.

Here are some links to help you with:

This link will be one that you may want to refer back to for other requirements that follow.  Many of the terms and concepts involved in the Personal Management Merit Badge can be understood here.   
Northwest Mutual Foundation - The Mint

 4a   Savings vs. Investment        4b    Return on Investment  and  Risk    and  4c   Simple & Compound Interest


5. Select five publicly traded stocks from the business section of the newspaper. Explain to your merit badge counselor the importance of the following information for each stock:

a. Current price.

b. How much the price changed from the previous day.

c. The 52-week high and the 52-week low prices.

Make sure you mark these selections down and make clear notes in your Merit Badge Workbook prior to the class.  Be prepared to discuss your findings with the merit badge counselor in the class.  To help show you have an understanding of this requirement it is highly recommended to document your findings and progress and bring that with you to the class.  Here are some links that will help you with this requirement:          What is a stock?        Stock Valuation      Stock Selection Criteria       Stocks: Most Actives     Yahoo Finance      MSN MoneyCentral.


6. Pretend you have $1,000 to save, invest, and help prepare yourself for the future. Explain to your merit badge counselor the advantages or disadvantages of saving or investing in each of the following:

a. Common stocks

b. Mutual funds

c. Life insurance

d. A certificate of deposit (CD)

e. A savings account or U.S. savings bond

Preparation on this requirement will "pay big dividends" by researching these terms and writing them down in your Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook.  While these terms will be discussed as a part of the class, don't be afraid to discuss these items with an adult prior to the class to develop a better understanding and how they apply to personal management. Be ready to show how you chose to use your $1,000 in class.

Here are some links that will help you with this requirement:  6a  Common Stocks    6b  Mutual Funds     6c  Life Insurance   6d Certificate of Deposit     6e   Savings Account  or  US Savings Bond   additionally you may want to check out this link 
Requirement 6.


7. Explain to your merit badge counselor the following:

a. What a loan is, what interest is, and how the annual percentage rate (APR) measures the true cost of a loan.

b. The different ways to borrow money

c. The differences between a charge card, debit card, and credit card. What are the costs and pitfalls of using these financial tools? Explain why it is unwise to make only the minimum payment on your credit card.

d. Credit reports and how personal responsibility can affect your credit report

e. Ways to reduce or eliminate debt.

As with many of the requirements, it is not acceptable to just click on the sample links and print out the sheets.  You MUST read and understand the concepts and terms for these requirements.  Scouts will be required to provide explanation of each of the components for this requirement with the counselor in the class. It is strongly recommended that Scouts put into their own words and write down their answers in the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Workbooks to help show that some thought and effort went into completing this requirement.  It is also important to insure that Scouts have an understanding of each of these components and are not just going thru the motions to complete the requirement.

Here are some links to assist you with the above listed requirements: 

7a     Loan    Interest    APR   

7b     Borrowing Money

7c     When are Charge Cards Better than Credit Cards?

7d     Credit Reports

7e     How to reduce debt


8. Demonstrate to your merit badge counselor your understanding of time management by doing the following:

a. Write a "to do" list of tasks or activities, such as homework assignments, chores, and personal projects, that must be done in the coming week. List these in order of importance to you.

b. Make a seven-day calendar or schedule. Put in your set activities, such as school classes, sports practices or games, jobs or chores, and/or Scout or church or club meetings, then plan when you will do all the tasks from your "to do" list between your set activities

c. Follow the one-week schedule you planned. Keep a daily diary or journal during each of the seven days of this week's activities, writing down when you completed each of the tasks on your "to do" list compared to when you scheduled them

d. Review your "to do" list, one-week schedule, and diary/journal to understand when your schedule worked and when it did not work. With your merit badge counselor, discuss and understand what you learned from this requirement and what you might do differently the next time

This requirement is obviously time sensitive but with a focused effort can actually be accomplished prior to the class.  You will need to set some time aside to lay out your list and do your documentation.  The only way to get credit for this requirement is to put together and track your progress as stated in the requirements.   Below are some links you may want to review in preparation for completion of this requirement.   Time Management   SMART Goals.


9. Prepare a written project plan demonstrating the steps below, including the desired outcome. This is a project on paper, not a real-life project. Examples could include planning a camping trip, developing a community service project or a school or religious event, or creating an annual patrol plan with additional activities not already included in the troop annual plan. Discuss your completed project plan with your merit badge counselor.

The following example is meant to serve as a guide.  Real world projects are best to choose instead of made up ones.  If you are uncertain, consider something you may have already done in the past that you will do again in the future.  Draw from the experience and how you might change items to make it better in the future.  Remember items shown below in brown are only examples for your reference..

a. Define the project. What is your goal?

My project is to prepare for summer camp. My goal is to be fully packed and ready the day I leave, and to have completed all merit badge prerequisites.

b. Develop a timeline for your project that shows the steps you must take from beginning to completion.

Tasks                                                                                     Must Complete By

1. Check my medical form status with my parents                               March 1

2. Schedule and Complete medical check if needed                             April 1

3. Locate my footlocker                                                                     May 15

4. Print out Camp Checklist                                                               May 20

5. Review my camp merit badge requirements                                     May 20

6. Check my camp gear and clothing from checklist                             May 31

7. Buy items missing from list                                                            June 15

8. Complete Merit Badge Prerequisites                                               June 20

9. Pack most items for camp                                                             June 25

10. Final packing, including money for lunch, clothes                           June 27

11. Bring copy of medical form, meds; report to camp check in             June 28


c. Describe your project

My project is to prepare myself for camp by developing a checklist, ensure it is accomplished in the correct sequence, and with enough time allowed to cope with unexpected circumstances so that I am 100% ready for camp the day we leave.

d. Develop a list of resources. Identify how these resources will help you achieve your goal.

Footlocker                             Place to pack all of my gear

BSA Troop Website                Location for forms, calendar and reference material for camp

Troop Library                          Merit badge pamphlets for review of MB requirements

e. If necessary, develop a budget for your project

New swim trunks $30;     Additional new clothes $40;      Spending money $30.     Total budget $100.


10. Do the following:

a. Choose a career you might want to enter after high school or college graduation.

b. Research the limitations of your anticipated career and discuss with your merit badge counselor what you have learned about qualifications such as education, skills, and experience.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to share their findings in class. Need a little help?   For career information, visit O*Net Online. Click on Find Occupations.  Don't know what you want to do? Explore occupations that match your interests, abilities, and preferences at O*Net Resource Center.


this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015