As we honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a civil rights leader, we would also like to honor the work he did for economic justice.
In the video above, Britepaths and the Financial Empowerment Center at South County walks you through a budgeting activity called the Budgeting Bean Game, which you and your family and friends can complete on your own. It's best for ages 12 and up.
This activity teaches budgeting tools and tips, and also highlights the financial struggles that many of our Northern Virginia neighbors face, especially during the pandemic.
In this video, long-time Financial Literacy volunteer Rhonda Brown, accompanied by our Financial Coach and Trainer Martha Borowski, leads FECSoCo Director Maria Jose Cantoni and our volunteers Ryan and Matthias through the activity.
The leader uses the "Game Scenarios" sheet to help guide the players through the game. Each player receives a “Life Scenario” and a “Budget Sheet.” These are linked below, and may be downloaded and used on the computer, or printed.
- If you use the Budget Sheet on the computer, you may use the Adobe “highlighter” tool to mark the budget sheet.
- If you choose to print the pages, you need a pencil, pen or highlighter, and can use small objects, such as beans, buttons or M&Ms/small candies, to distribute your “beans.”
Each Life Scenario sheet provides the necessary instructions on how the player can fill out their Budget Sheet.
Playing the game encourages some interesting decisions and discussions about prioritizing wants versus needs.
Budget Bean Game Materials (PDF)
Click on the item and download. May be used on the computer or printed.
Each player needs a Budget Sheet and one of the Life Scenarios linked below it.
- Bean Game Budget Sheet (all players)
- Bean Game Scenarios Sheet (for game leader)
- Life Scenarios (each player receives 1): Dental Assistant · IT Technician · Office Assistant · Paramedic · Sales Associate · Social Worker
Today, many people identify King with his soaring “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. But what was his dream? The March on Washington sought equality before the law, but also an economic "bill of rights" for the working poor. Some reading and resources:
- Time Magazine article (February 2020) by University of Washington Professor Michael K. Honey
- Institute for New Economic Thinking piece (April 2018) by Professor Ed Pavlic of the University of Georgia
- Visit The King Center for more resources to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
About Our Work
Britepaths' services are designed to help individuals and families in the Fairfax County area who are struggling to make ends meet. Our primary offerings Stabilize Families by providing short-term food and financial assistance and Build Resilience by providing mentoring, classes and longer-term guidance that help families help themselves out of their crisis and onto a path where they can plan for a stable future. Our Supports for Children, supplemental food at participating schools, school supplies for students in need and holiday meals and gifts for children, relieve financial burdens and provide hope at a time when families are in crisis. Click Here to learn how to access services.