Boy Scouts of America - Troop 534 "Hey!" - Chicago, IL, USA

How to Earn Personal Management Merit Badge

Time and money. Personal Management Merit Badge teaches all of us (scouts and instructors) to do the following:

  1. Manage Time.

  2. Manage Money.

  3. Eliminate Excuses.

The symbolism of the badge is clear: Half dollar sign, half clock face. Time and money.

What to Expect

It takes at least thirteen weeks to earn Personal Management merit badge. The Scout is required to spend that time managing a budget and tracking their personal income and expenses.

Every member of Troop 534 who completes Personal Management merit badge should be able to discuss the following people in an investment context:

How to Get Started

  1. First, download the Personal Mangement workbook from Read through the questions. Most of the questions will appear mysterious at first. That’s fine. Think of the growth you will achieve after you complete the merit badge.

  2. Answer the questions that you can answer. You are not expected to know everything in advance. Personal Management is a learning experience.

  3. Have your paperwork (in digital or paper form) with you every time you meet with your Personal Management merit badge counselor. If you have a laptop, bring that with you too.

  4. Make backups of your personal management paperwork. This is easier if you do everything in digital form because you can email the document to yourself, store it using Google Apps, etc.

  5. Talk to Scouts who earned Personal Management Merit Badge before you. What can they tell you about the experience?

Additional Motivation

Skills learned through Personal Management are enablers for entrepreneurship. Consider this story about Richard Branson, the UK-based entrepreneur (as told to James Clear).

I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time.  

At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do.  

Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.  

~Richard Branson

A Note from the Merit Badge Counselor

Personal Management is not about getting rich. Managing the money you have, regardless of the amount, is more important than chasing dollars.

Every time I work with Scouts on Personal Management Merit Badge, I learn something new. Scouts ask questions that I don’t know how to answer. And that’s when we go on the hunt for knowledge and we learn together. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you.


Contact Assistant Scoutmaster Raymond T. Hightower (the form goes directly to his email account) if you have questions.