Activity One: Review of Lesson Twelve Homework Task
1. Review the Lesson Twelve: Homework Task by inviting students to read their email to a friend, to whom they owe money.
2. Ask the class to identify strategies they think would most likely bring about a resolution of the situation.
3. Ask the class whether they found the homework task easy or difficult? Which, if any, aspects did they find difficult, and why?
Activity Two: Katie’s story
1. Explain to the class that debt can be a sensitive issue. Some people find themselves struggling with debt or are close to someone who is. Remind students out of control debt is almost always as a result of unexpected life changes.
2. Divide the class into pairs.
3. Distribute one copy of Student Worksheet: Katie’s story to each pair.
4. Invite each pair to come up with five things (actions/behaviours etc.) which indicate that Katie is in trouble with debt.
5. Take feedback from a sample of pairs, recording their responses on the white/blackboard. If students do not mention the following warning signs you could add them to the list on the white/blackboard:
- always late paying bills
- don’t know exactly how much they owe - just know that they can’t manage it
- using credit to pay for everyday expenses (e.g. food)
- borrowing more to pay loans/credit cards
- problems paying rent/mortgage
- ignoring or missing loan repayments
- having no savings at all for emergencies/unexpected expenses
6. Conclude by explaining to the class that when people are in real financial trouble it can be very stressful for them. This kind of stress can lead to bad decisions, because they are so worried and upset they can’t see a way out or a solution to their problems. However, it is really important to realise there are places you can go for help. For example, MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service) is a free service that gives confidential, one-to-one advice to people struggling with debt (see www.mabs.ie) and the CCPC website (www.ccpc.ie/consumers) has lots of useful tools to help people manage their money better.