14-16 60 - 90 minutes

Money skills lesson one: Understanding and managing debt

This is lesson one of four focusing on Money Skills for young people aged 14-16. This lesson is designed to help students consider the advantages and disadvantages of using credit when compared to saving to make purchases.

To ensure that the lesson plan and student-facing interactive PDF work together smoothly, please make sure you download and save both documents into the same folder on your computer.

Lesson learning outcomes

By the end of the lesson students will be able to:

  • Identify ways of reducing spending and saving regularly by completing a budget
  • Discuss different reasons for, and ways of, borrowing money
  • Complete a savings action plan

Read on for further ideas about using these activities in your lessons.

How can you use this lesson with your students to improve their budgeting skills?

This lesson focuses on improving students’ understanding of budgeting and how life choices can impact on a person’s finances. It includes scenarios that allow students to become ‘money mentors’ and practise balancing the income and expenses of four characters in different situations.

How can this lesson further your students’ understanding of credit and borrowing?

It includes both discussion and interactive elements that explore savings and credit, particularly the difference between using each to make a large purchase. They will consider different situations in which a person might borrow money. Additionally, the activities explore the money worries and dream items of each character. Students will work in a group to create an action plan for each. The lesson also includes the opportunity for students to share their plan to the class through a presentation.

Want information on more content that can support you? Check out links to further resources below.

Follow this lesson with the remaining three money skills lessons for this age group, which cover 'Money and work', 'Financial risk and security' and 'The future of money'. Why not build financial capability as a focus in your wider curriculum? Refer to our 'Content guide' to find out how this LifeSkills resource can be used in PSHE or Maths lessons.

Curriculum tags

Download full lesson plan pack with all activities

Money skills lesson one: Understanding and managing debt

Download an individual section

Understanding and managing debt: Lesson plan


Understanding and managing debt: Presentation slides


Bank account comparison

PDF 139.3KB

A free account gives you access to all educator content, tools and resources

Over 85,000 educators use LifeSkills’ free and immediately accessible resources to guide young people. Join them in less than 5 minutes.

Already have an account?

Log in

Get started

Thank you for liking

Help us to continue creating relevant content for you by leaving some additional feedback.

Other lessons in Understanding and managing money