Personal Management Merit Badge
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 will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - 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 direction 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. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). 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 
Other Personal Management MERIT BADGE PAGES
Personal Management Merit Badge Current Requirements
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook
Personal Management Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page

Personal Management Merit Badge 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

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:

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 and yourself to review. In addition, Scouts may want to have family members sign off on the plan as an added way to show that they have discussed this plan with their family. Some counselors may not sign off without some sort of confirmation from others in the family that the Scout actually discussed the plan. Sign off on the documented plan by one or more family members will be very helpful. Scouts may also want to include ideas from other family members in their discussion of the plan to help with the "discuss how other family needs must be considered in this plan" requirement component.

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, and user reviews on major retail sites:, and I received my parents’ 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 and 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 Samsung’s 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 $ 83.00

Called Best Buy and Target and there are no coupons 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 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 and record your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks.

See the Sample Budget Plan in the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook or develop your own or consider using the Personal Management Merit Badge pamphlet sample as a basis to build your own. Make sure you understand all components of Requirement 2 before starting any of the components so that you can find the greatest level of success and do only necessary work for preparing and working on this requirement and its components.  Pay special attention to Requirement 2c and how it ties in with this requirement component.

b. Compare expected income with expected expenses.

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

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

For this requirement and its component, Scouts are urged to use the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook or comparable, and write down their thoughts for each component of this requirement. Having this written out will help the merit badge counselor determine Scouts' 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 don’t need, etc.) Provide specific ideas that apply to your situation.

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

c. Track and record your actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks (the same 13-week period for which you budgeted). (You may use the forms provided in the Personal Management Merit Badge pamphlet, devise your own, or use a computer-generated version.) When, complete, present the records showing the results to your merit badge counselor.

This requirement will be impossible to finish in time for the merit badge class unless Scouts already have it done by the time the class takes place along with the sample budget plan required for requirement 2a. Regardless of whether Scouts will have enough time to have this ready for the class or not, is STRONGLY recommended that Scouts get started on this (and their budget plan) right away and bring their work to the class for review with the merit badge counselor, completed or not. The merit badge counselor will be able to review with Scouts and give guidance on ways to improve tracking as well as items to pay special attention to.

Scouts will need to track their actual income, expenses, and savings for 13 consecutive weeks, in conjunction with their projected budget plan. This should tie directly in with the Scout's Sample Budget and will also take time to complete. Start tracking today and bring the tracking with for review with the counselor at the class also.

This is one of the requirement components 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 Scouts have an easier time completing this requirement component.

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 component.

d. Compare your budget with your actual income and expenses to understand when your budget worked and when it did not work.  With your merit badge counselor, discuss what you might do differently the next time.

Only Scouts who have completed their budget and tracking prior to the class will have the opportunity to review this requirement component with the merit badge counselor during the class.  Remember it is up to the merit badge counselor to decide whether any requirement or its component meets their satisfaction for sign off. Just because you think you have completed a requirement or one of its components, does not necessarily fulfill and/or obligate a merit badge counselor to sign off.  The merit badge counselor only signs off on requirement or components of requirements that they feel have been satisfactorily completed by their interpretation of the requirement or its component(s).


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 and its components. It is recommended that Scouts make notes ahead of time and look up any terms or concepts that they may not be familiar with prior to the class. Scouts should consider tracking notes, thoughts, and findings in a notebook or Merit Badge Workbook. This will also assist the merit badge counselor, along with discussion, in assessing whether Scouts understand the concepts and have done the work. Since most of the discussion points will be in a group environment, Scouts will want to have additional proof for the counselor of their understanding and thoughts for these items.

Here is a link to help Scouts 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 and how they are related.

c. The concepts of simple interest and compound interest.

d. The concept of diversification in investing.

e. Why it is important to save and invest for retirement.

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

Here are some links to help you with Requirement 4 and its components:

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.

Here are some links for each requirement component:

4a:  Saving vs Investment  4b:  Return on Investment and Risk  4c:  Interest and Compound Interest 4d:  Diversification


5. Explain to your merit badge counselor what the following investments are and how each works:

a. Common Stock

b. Mutual funds

c. Life insurance

d. A certificate of deposit (CD)

e. A savings account

f. A U.S. savings bond

Preparation on this requirement will "pay big dividends" by researching these terms and writing them down in the Scoutmaster Bucky Personal Management Merit Badge Workbook. While the terms of this requirement 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.

Here are some links for each requirement component:

5a: Common Stocks  5b: Mutual Funds  5c: Life Insurance  5d: Certificate of Deposit  5e: Savings Account  5f:  U.S. Savings Bond  additionally you may want to check out this link:  Requirement 5


6. Explain to your counselor why people might purchase the following types of insurance and how they work:

a. Automobile

b. Health

c. Homeowner's / renter's

d. Whole life and term life

Scouts are encouraged to utilize a notebook or workbook to record their findings while preparing for this requirement.  Having these notes will make it much easier to reference and share your explanation during the class discussion.  Only Scouts having prepared AND actively participating in the class discussion on this requirement and its components will be considered for sign off by the counselor at the class. Be prepared.


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. Scouts MUST read and understand the concepts and terms for these requirement components. 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 Merit Badge Workbook to help show that some thought and effort went into preparing for this requirement and its componets.

Here are some links for each requirement component:

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 place of worship 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. With your merit badge counselor, review your "to do" list, one-week schedule, and diary/journal to understand when your schedule worked and when it did not work. Discuss 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. Scouts will need to set some time aside to lay out their list and do their documentation. The only way a Scout may be considered for sign off on this requirement and its components is to put together and track their progress as stated in the requirement.

Here are some links to help you with Requirement 8 and its components:

 Time Management and 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.



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. 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. Discuss with your counselor the needed qualifications, education, skills, and experience.

b. Explain to your counselor what the associated costs might be to pursue this career, such as tuition, school or training supplies, and room and board. Explain how you could prepare for these costs and how you might make up for any shortfall.

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 / updated: February 2020