Today, kids seem to only know what is right in front of them. Instant gratification is what teens essentially live for. They are unfamiliar with delayed gratification or being able to buy a big dollar item using money they've saved rather than financing an item and having to pay interest on that purchase. They have a debit card but have no idea about the monetary backing that is required to be able to use these cards. They don't realize that there has to be actual money in a bank in order to use a debit card and that it's not just some abstract idea that as long as I have the card, I have money. I think it would be a great idea to take the students to a bank and take them through the steps of opening a checking or savings account, depositing money in the form of a check and then taking money out in the form of cash or by purchasing something with that plastic card. They would need to create a simple budget and record their purchases while still maintaining a positive account balance.
This could be an introduction to setting real financial goals, short term and long term savings and distinguishing between needs and wants and understanding the difference between instant and delayed gratification.