101 Discussion-Starter Fun Cards

  1. What is your favorite commercial? Why?
  2. If you saw a quarter lying on a sidewalk would you pick it up? Why—or why not?
  3. Youth: How do you act when you want your parents to buy you something?
  4. What does it mean to "balance" a checkbook (or checking account)?
  5. How often do you hang out at a mall or favorite store with no particular purchase in mind? How does that habit affect your buying habits?
  6. What things do you buy of which you can't have just one? (Example: trading cards or other collectibles)
  7. Should adults expect kids to share some of their money? Why—or why not?
  8. Why do companies want you to buy their products?
  9. If you could cut $500 from your monthly spending, what would you do with the extra money?
  10. How would you feel if you spent half as much on gifts (birthday, holiday, etc.) this year?
  11. How big is your home compared to the homes where you grew up?
  12. Which is the most important: sharing, saving, or spending?
  13. What's an interest rate?
  14. Is it easier to name your favorite store than your favorite charity? Why — or why not?
  15. What is your earliest memory of sharing money with a cause you care about?
  16. At what age should a person get his or her first credit card?
  17. If you could give more money to a charity of your choice, what cause or organization would you pick?
  18. How much do you spend each month on things you throw away quickly? (Example: magazines.)
  19. Why would it be helpful to set sharing goals (time and money)?
  20. How can kids teach adults about sharing money and time?
  21. What is your most treasured possession? Why does it bring you so much happiness?
  22. What is "immediate gratification"? How does that get in the way of saving money?
  23. When have you bought something because someone else thought you should?
  24. When was the last time you said, "I'd rather share money than spend it"?
  25. How do your friends encourage you to make poor spending decisions — or not?
  26. What's the difference between long-term savings and short-term savings?
  27. How much does a vacation cost?
  28. Why is the stock market a wise place to invest money — or not?
  29. How much does college cost?
  30. How much should young people share of the money they earn or receive as an allowance or as gifts?
  31. How much do you spend each month on connectivity — phone, cell phones, online services, cable, etc.?
  32. If you can only give what seems like a little bit of money, why give?
  33. What was the most expensive item you have ever paid cash for — that is, not made payments?
  34. How do you choose whether to keep, toss, give, or sell something you don't use?
  35. What's a credit score? Why do credit scores matter?
  36. Where — and why — do you share your money, possessions and time?
  37. When have you bought something that you didn't really use — or enjoy — once you had it?
  38. How do other people influence your decision to buy certain items?
  39. If you could cut $500 from your monthly spending, what would go?
  40. If you inherited $50,000, what would you do with it?
  41. Whom do you know who has experienced major financial difficulties? What was the cause — and what did it take for that person to recover?
  42. Where have you seen ads today?
  43. What is the best thing about sharing?
  44. Youth: If you saved every penny you earned or received this year, how much would you have?
  45. How does spending distract us from sharing?
  46. When have you chosen not to keep up with your peers in your spending?
  47. How many things do you own that encourage you to keep spending more? (Example: video game system, DVD player)
  48. How many clothing items do you own that have obvious brand labels?
  49. What happens when someone in your family makes a bad spending decision?
  50. How are you saving for retirement?
  51. Do you know a person who's a good role model for sharing?
  52. What can you do to reach the recommended goal of saving 10 percent of your income?
  53. How does your school encourage you to make poor spending decisions — or not?
  54. Youth: What are your parents' least favorite stores to shop for you? Ask them why?
  55. What do you consider "advertising"?
  56. What's the most money you have ever given away in a single event? in a year?
  57. Which purchases do others influence most — and least?
  58. How do advertisers try to convince you to buy things?
  59. What happens if you don't wear the "right" brand clothes?
  60. How often do you eat out? How much would your family save NEXT » week if you ate at home (or carried bag lunches, etc.)?
  61. How can you make sharing a part of your NEXT » big spending spree — back-to-school, holidays, vacation, etc.?
  62. Youth: If you could receive any gift you wanted, what would it be? Adults: How would you have answered that question at the same age?
  63. Why do some brands we buy cost more than other brands?
  64. What percentage of your income do you share? Why do you share that amount?
  65. What do you learn at school about sharing, saving, and spending?
  66. How would your life be better if you had less stuff?
  67. Adults: How could you adjust your spending habits to save the three-to-six-month's income experts recommend as an emergency fund?
  68. What is bankruptcy?
  69. Youth: Where do you give money regularly?
  70. When and why do you make big purchases — cars, furniture, etc.?
  71. What big things are you saving for right now?
  72. At what age should a person get his or her own checking account and debit card?
  73. How does your family plan to pay for educational opportunities after high school graduation — college, vocational training, etc.?
  74. What do you buy that isn't a name brand product?
  75. What is the favorite charity or cause of each person in your family?
  76. What is your favorite store? Why?
  77. How many commercials do you see that encourage you to share some of your money?
  78. Why is carrying a balance on a credit card not a good idea?
  79. What's the longest period of time you have saved money for something?
  80. Adults: Describe the contents of your bedroom growing up compared to the contents of a child's room today.
  81. How do you decide where, when and how much to give as a family?
  82. What was the worst spending decision you have ever made? What was the most satisfying purchase you have ever made?
  83. Why do you clip coupons — or not?
  84. Finish the sentence: If I ran out of money today, I could get more by …
  85. What was the last thing you bought to out do a friend's purchase?
  86. What percentage of your income do you save each month?
  87. When have you given in to a consumer craze — a "gotta have it" toy, electronic item, vehicle, etc.? How do you feel about your purchase now?
  88. If you knew your family's income would disappear at the end of the year, what wouldn't you spend money on now?
  89. What things do you buy that you need to survive? What things do you buy that are wants?
  90. What would your life be like if you gave away 10 percent of your (or your family's) income?
  91. What do you own that doesn't fit comfortably in your home?
  92. Why do you eat out? What would make you eat at home more often?
  93. Of the charities in your area, where can you give time as well as money?
  94. When have you argued as a family about whether to buy something?
  95. Whom do you know who saves money well? What savings habits do you see in that person?
  96. Why do you buy groceries where you do?
  97. How much do you spend each month on utilities — heating and cooling, electricity, water, garbage and phone?
  98. How does sharing money with others make you feel?
  99. When have you bought something to try to feel better?
  100. What three items do you own that could be better used by someone else?
  101. When is buying things on sale a good idea? When is it a bad idea?

Courtesy: Share-Save-Spend

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is a financial educator and president of Share-Save-Spend, an organization that helps people develop healthy financial habits.