Monthly Archives: February 2016


24 Hours of Personal Finance – Investing in Ravioli Den (Day 3)

download (8)

Friday was Investing Day #3 at Eastside College Prep. My learning objectives today were to have the students experience the roller coaster psychology that comes from stock ownership. With over 57% of the class indicating “I think I can make investments that beat the market,” I thought it was time to introduce a little humility to the class. If all the data I could muster couldn’t convince students of the difficulty of outperforming the S&P500, maybe Jessica’s favorite activity, Joining the Market, could.

First some background on Ravioli Den (a fictitious company that Jessica created):

By |February 29th, 2016|Activity, Behavioral Finance, Investing, Stocks|

Debate This: Should All Students Be Eligible for Education Loans?

images (2)

For teachers looking for a lively debate, this question should generate one! WSJ tackles this issue by calling on two experts to provide divergent viewpoints on the topic. Having students research this topic further will engage them in a way that a lecture or reading would not as they will have to grapple with questions like:

Question of the Day: What Are Top 10 Jobs That Didn’t Exist 5 Years Ago?

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 11.16.50 AM

Good kick-off to your Careers unit which demonstrates the changing nature of the workplace.

Link to LinkedIn infographic here with data on the top jobs.

Here are the top 10 jobs:

By |February 29th, 2016|Career, Current Events, Employment, Question of the Day, Research|

Schools In The News

images (1)

Here’s a rundown of recent stories about schools teaching personal finance:

  • Milton High School (WI) board recently approved making a personal finance course a graduation requirement (GazetteXtra)

The school board recently approved a financial literacy and employability course high school students will have to pass before graduating. The class will be tied to the academic and career plan Wisconsin students soon must draft as a graduation requirement. Personal finance currently is taught during a six-week period in civics class, which isn’t enough time to learn everything, Kenyon said. “We knew we needed to do more. There’s more that needs to be taught,” Principal Jeremy Bilhorn said.

  • Western Connecticut University hosted a personal finance workshop for local high school students (NewsTimes):
By |February 28th, 2016|Current Events, Featured Teachers, Schools In News|

What Psychological Factors Make Us Bad At Managing Debt?

images (2)

From Scientific American:

Despite its apparent burden on families across the country, many people do not effectively manage their debt. Most individuals juggle multiple kinds of debts, each coming with different terms and interest rates. This diversification of debt requires consumers to make decisions about how to best allocate limited resources to repay them. The most effective way to pay off debt over the long-term is to focus on the loans with the highest interest rates first. Yet evidence has shown time and again that consumers are likely to manage multiple debts in ways that cost them more over time.

The researchers document a phenomena they call “debt account aversion,” when “consumers with multiple debts are motivated to reduce the total number of debts rather than reducing the total of their associated costs.” The researchers list strategies to overcome this and optimally service debt by paying off high-interest loans first:

By |February 28th, 2016|Behavioral Finance, Credit Cards, Current Events, Research, Student Loans|

Simulation: Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Spent)

On a recent NGPF podcast (released next week), Helaine Olen mentioned an online game called Spent (click to play the game!) (click to play the game), which I am finally getting a chance to play. The tagline on their home page is “It’s Just Stuff. Until You Don’t Have It.”

I have created a set of questions for students to accompany the game.

Here’s their opening challenge:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 3.17.54 PM

I accepted the challenge which is to make it through the month with $1,000 in savings and no job.

  • Step 1: Find a Job: Waiter, Temp or 2nd Shift Warehouse
  • Step 2: The game then throws life’s expenses at you that require choices (while you are keeping an eye on your cash balance): health insurance, rent, field trips, computer classes, grocery bills, car problems, credit card balances and other unexpected expenses that life brings

Full disclosure: I ran out of money on Day 17. This game will provide students with empathy and the challenges that come from living paycheck to paycheck. I could literally sense my blood pressure rising as I saw my cash balances dwindle facing an uncertain future.

A great activity for your students that can be combined with a written reflection with questions like this:

By |February 26th, 2016|Activity, Employment, Insurance, Purchase Decisions, Writing assignment|

What Can This Rap Video Teach Students About Paying Back Student Debt?

Hat tip to Sid Sharma, NGPF intern, who found this video about paying back student loans, which has since gone viral with almost 400,000 YouTube views:

Here’s the back story (from CNN):

New Product Launch: Data Crunch

images (1)

For those teachers have been asking us for charts, graphs and data sets with personal finance information for their students, thank you for your feedback! We are excited to present to you our latest new product release: The NGPF Data Crunch. Read on for additional details.

What’s a Data Crunch?

Here are a few NGPF Data Crunch examples from our Library: 

Features of an NGPF Data Crunch include: