Monthly Archives: April 2015

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What Can I Find At Next Gen Personal Finance?

New to Next Gen Personal Finance?  Are you a parent, a teacher, a student or an adult learner looking to improve your financial literacy?  You have come to the right place!  We are a team of educators committed to improving financial literacy.  We accomplish this by providing FREE content in three ways:

1)  The Next Gen Personal Finance Blog, with 10-15 posts a week, is designed to educate using Questions of the Day, analysis of current events, ideas for activities and the curation of high quality videos and articles.  Here’s a sampling of recent posts:

By |April 30th, 2015|Personal Finance|

Is Personal Finance a priority at your school?

Take the survey and be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card. It takes < 2 minutes.

By |April 30th, 2015|Flash Surveys, Uncategorized|

April Survey Results: What primary resource are you using to teach personal finance?

By |April 28th, 2015|Survey Results|

Want Budgeting to Stick With Your Students? Find an App!

USA Today reporting on recent Neilsen study that shows 1) More consumers using budgeting apps on their mobile phones 2) Those that do, are successful at controlling their spending:

In a survey of more than 3,600 smartphone owners who use their phones to shop or bank, out this month, 18% said they use their phones to budget and of those, 69% said they strongly or mostly agree that budgeting apps have helped change their spending habits.

Why do people enjoy using budgeting apps?

The most popular reason given for using budgeting apps was because they save time and because people like that the apps automatically track their habits, usually by linking with bank accounts and pulling in transaction data.

New term alert for what changes caused by the budgeting apps:  micro habit:

Von Tobel calls it a micro habit, a small change that helps keep your money front of mind.  “It gives you insights that you never had before and it makes you more aware of problems,” she says. “Money then becomes something that’s really fun and you engage with because it’s not a source of enormous stress.”

So, we know that students love their mobile phones and we know that

By |April 28th, 2015|Activity, Budgeting, Current Events, Lesson Idea, New Products|

One Person’s Misery Is Another Person’s…Math Problem

Hat tip to Rob Carrick of Globe and Mail for pointing out a CNN story titled “I’m 57 and owe $152,000 in student loans,” which he described as “student loan hell.”

I thought this story which traces the travails of a Rosemary Anderson would be a way to engage students both to the dangers of student loans but also how compound interest can work against you if you are a borrower not making payments on a loan.  It also will provide students the chance to hone their analytical skills (and wonder why some of these numbers don’t seem to add up!).

So, how might I think about structuring this activity?

  1. Read the article
  2. Jot down key facts about the case that will help you run some calculations.  A timeline should help:
    1. Age 37 and 44 gets bachelor and master’s degree in human resources; incurs $65,000 in debt.
    2. At age 44, consolidated all loans ($65,000) into one loan with interest rate of 8.25%
    3. At age 51 (six years ago), she stopped making payments on her loans.
    4. At age 57 (today), owes $152,000 in student loans
    5. April, 2016 (when she is 58) Scheduled to make payments of $699 per month until age 81 (for 23 years)

Questions for students:

1.  At age 44,

By |April 28th, 2015|Activity, Current Events, Math, Paying for College, Student Loans|

What’s New At Schools?

Tracking recent personal finance activity at high schools across America:

  • Bucks County (PA) high schools teaming up with Philly Fed (Bucks County Courier):Students in Chuck Deal’s personal finance class at Neshaminy High School will end the year knowing how to protect themselves from identity theft, create a budget and keep from getting taken for a ride when they buy their first car. Those topics, and more, are part of a popular personal finance course that draws some of its programming from one of the largest financial institutions in the country: the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Junior Achievement put on a full-day financial literacy workshop for Central York (PA) High School students (York Daily Record):

Central York junior Madyson Williams said she’s fortunate to have learned a lot about money from her mother, an investment broker, and her father, the vice president of a logistics company. An aspiring investment broker herself, Williams said she still learned new concepts from the activities. “Some decisions you don’t expect to make a difference can make a huge difference,” Williams said, such as investing early in a 401-K or getting a master’s degree.

  • A rock band is visiting high schools…and teaching personal finance (Wall

Take this Quiz…

This was one of the better personal finance quizzes that I have seen out there…Why?

  • Comprehensive:  It has 30 questions covering a range of topics
  • Numeracy:  It has several questions that require some basic problem solving and numeracy skills in comparing options or best course of action
  • Application:  Less focus on conceptual knowledge and more on whether you can use this knowledge to make good decisions
  • Open Net:  It encourages students to go out and find the answers if they don’t know them.  This is the way the world works…
  • Question type:  for both investing and paying for college questions, it asks test takers to rank order various options going beyond the basic multiple choice
  • Motivational:  Once your students have completed the quiz, it shows how they stack up vs. the thousands of other test takers and identifies the concepts that require further study.

Look for the NGPF Question Bank later this summer which will provide teachers with hundreds of assessment questions.  Oh, how did I score on the quiz (I know you were wondering)?  A-. I have an email into the company disputing a few of the questions that I answered incorrectly…

April 27th Activity of the Day: Build A Credit Card Calculator

It is one thing to tell students that credit cards carry high interest rates, it is probably more effective for learning to have them actually input those high interest rates into their own credit card calculator to see the impact on payments.  In this activity “Excel: Build a Credit Card Calculator,” students get an opportunity to flex their spreadsheet muscles through an activity that provides four options based on level of expertise.  Please share this with your math department too as this activity helps students understand the mathematical underpinnings of credit card calculators and develop a deeper understanding rather than just inputting factors into an online calculator.

The activity starts with a basic scenario that includes information about a credit card balance, a minimum payment amount and an A.P.R. (Annual Percentage Rate).  It then scaffolds the problem based on the level of Excel skills of your students so that it meets them where they are at.  For students with no Excel skills, it provides hints to allow students to complete the task the old-fashioned way, through basic math operations.  The students are asked questions regarding time to pay off this credit card balance as well as the amount to

By |April 27th, 2015|Activity, Credit Cards, Featured NGPF Lesson|