Category Image

Get Learning: The value of Money

Friday 3rd August 2018

The object of this activity is to use currency to get the young people thinking about the value of money and how long people in different countries have to work to earn a given amount.

01 - Different currencies

You may have some leftover currencies from trips abroad which can be used or use the internet to print out some notes. It is helpful to have currencies from a range of countries.

24 American Dollars
2,000 Ugandan Shillings
50 Hong Kong Dollars
20 Euro
5,000 Central African Francs

The above are examples and if you have other examples, use them.

Put a £10 note on the table among the notes and ask the young people would they rather have the stated amount of any of the other currencies or the £10 note. Why did they choose certain currencies? They may well be aware of some exchange rates, but unaware of others.

Ask them to place the currencies in increasing order of values; where do you place the £10.

Obviously, this depends on the exchange rate when doing the activity, but at the time of writing the order is as follows:

Currency : Value in Sterling
2,000 Ugandan Shillings : 39p
60 HK Dollars : £4.56
5,000 CFA : £6.65
£10 GBP : £10
$24 USD : £17.18
€20 Euro : £17.45

If you have access to the internet at your meeting place, then the young people can look up the exchange rates themselves.

What do the young people notice? Did they initially choose a currency pile greater than £10? Were they surprised that with the two currencies chosen from developing countries, then thousands of them were needed to equate to £10.

02 - Earning a living

The current minimum wage in the UK depends on your age.

25 and over: £7.83
21 to 24: £7.38
18 to 20: £5.90
Under 18 £4.20
Apprentice: £3.70

Therefore, someone aged under 18 on the minimum wage would need to work for 2hrs 23 minutes to earn £10.

Do your young people think the minimum wage is set at the right level? How much would they expect to receive for an hour’s work?

How long do you need to work to earn £10?

Compare the countries you have explored with the currencies. You can usually find minimum or average wages on the internet. Young people could use the information to determine the length of time in each county to earn £10. Calculators allowed!

Hong Kong

Minimum wage HK$30 (£2.77) per hour so you would need to work for 3 hrs 37 minutes

Uganda

The minimum yearly salary is US$95 (350,000 Ugandan shillings) and it is estimated that 82% of the population earn less than US$1 per day. Someone earning US$1 per day would need to work almost 14 days to earn £10

USA

Each State sets its minimum wage. In California it is $11, in Iowa it is $7.25. In California it would take 1hr 15 minutes to earn £10.

Cameroon

Minimum wage 36,270 CFA per month (£48.60) so it would take just over 6 days to earn £10

France

Minimum wage 1, 498.5 euros per month. It would take around 1hr 15 mins to earn £10. The euro is used across the Eurozone containing a wide range of countries.

Country : Time to earn £10
France : 1h 15m
USA (California) : 1h 15m
UK (Under 18) : 2h 23m
Hong Kong : 3h 37m
Cameroon : 6 Days
Uganda : 14 Days

The cost of living will be different in each country, but there are still huge differences.

Get the young people to think about how do these vast discrepancies make them feel? Encourage them to consider how they could respond to this.

< Back