The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod is celebrating “Teach Children to Save” with savings education online. Established by the American Bankers Association Foundation in 1997, Teach Children to Save and the Foundation’s other financial education initiatives have helped reached 10.5 million young people through the commitment of more than 260,000 banker volunteers. Today, we’re focusing on choices.

Choices, Choices, Choices

A choice is when you make a decision about something. For example, when you got up this morning, you had a choice, or a decision, to make about what to wear. You might have made a choice about what to eat for breakfast or what to do with your hair. Throughout the day, we make so many choices and many include how to spend our money.

The Case of the Water Bottle

Let’s say you’re going for a walk with your friends after school, and you want to take water with you in case you get thirsty. What are your options?

  • You could buy a bottle of water; it’s convenient, and you can buy these at the store and keep them in the refrigerator. You could even buy a pack of water bottles.
  • Or, you could buy one refillable bottle and refill it from the refrigerator or tap every time you want water.

Let’s think about this decision a little more. If a pack of water costs about the same as a refillable bottle, you’re spending about the same amount. But what happens when you run out of these throwaway bottles? You have to buy more. So really, you’re spending more. Not only that, what happens to all these bottles after you use them? They get thrown away in the trash or, hopefully, they get recycled.

Opportunity Cost

Knowing everything we do now, do you think it is a better choice to refill this bottle every time? … If you said the refillable bottle, great decision! You just saved money, you also just helped save the planet. There’s a pretty big phrase for the choice you didn’t pick. Have you ever heard that something was the “opportunity cost” before? You can also say it’s a “trade off”. The “opportunity cost” of a choice is the thing you didn’t pick. In this case, it is the pack of water bottles.

What Would You Do?

Now, it’s your turn! In the first worksheet, you decide which choice is the one that will help save you money and help the environment. In the second worksheet, you can are draw a picture of a choice you can make that will save money and help the environment. Try to pick something different than what we already talked about.

Choices, Choices Activity Sheet

My Choices Activity Sheet

My Choices Activity Sheet