Monthly Archives: April 2016


Before You Take Money Out of the Convenience Store ATM, Read This…

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Disturbing news about the increased prevalence of skimming at ATM locations (from NY Times):

Skimming involves stealing debit card numbers by putting an illegal card reading device on an A.T.M. Criminals use the devices in tandem with hidden cameras that record personal identification numbers entered onto the keypad. They then make duplicate cards using the information and drain cash from bank accounts.

FICO Card Alert Service, which monitors activity at A.T.M.s for bank clients, is reporting a sixfold increase in the number of machines in the United States compromised by criminals in 2015, compared with 2014. The service is an arm of analytic software company FICO, best known for providing consumer credit scores.

So, why should you worry about convenience store ATMs?

Interactive: Putting the U.S. Fiscal Ship In Order

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Interactive game that Econ teachers and students will love (a little far afield of personal finance but as you are all aware, the health of the U.S. economy has serious implications for individuals’ financial health!. It’s called and it puts your students in charge of managing the U.S. Budget. Here are reviews of the game which was just released this week (we like to stay current here at NGPF!):

  • Good summary here at the Wall Street Journal which describes how this simulation is different from others like it:

The game, a joint effort of the Brookings Institution and the Wilson Center, differs from other budget-balancing tools that others have rolled out in recent years. It features greater production quality than others that are essentially fancy spreadsheets, and it also requires users to choose and meet broader policy goals that reflect the demands of running the government.

Users can choose up to three of some 10 such goals, such as cutting taxes, fighting climate change, strengthening the military, reducing inequality and boosting government and private investment. The idea is to reflect the demands of pursuing policy objectives, on either side of the ideological spectrum, that go beyond simply making sure the government is spending no more money than it collects.

  • Players choose three goals to focus on (USA Today):
By |April 29th, 2016|Budgeting, Current Events, Interactive, New Products, Policy, Research|

What’s the Catch? A Checking Account Paying 5%

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Ask your students to solve the mystery by guessing what they would expect to see in the asterisk section about the conditions that need to be met to earn the 5%. Remind them that the average checking account today earns about 0.05%.

Here’s the fine print for your students to decipher:

Chart: Why Educating Students About Overdraft Protection is So Important!

Too many Millenials are “heavy overdrafters” based on a recent Pew Research study (note that Heavy ovedrafter was defined as someone who spent more than $100 in the past year on overdraft fees):

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By |April 28th, 2016|Chart of the Week, Checking Accounts, Current Events, Research|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Justin Draeger, Leader of Financial Aid Association


Continuing on our theme of college financial aid, we were lucky enough to have Justin Draeger on the podcast show recently. As CEO and President, Justin leads NASFAA, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, whose membership includes over 20,000 financial assistance professionals at over 3,000 schools. So, when your students have a conversation with a financial aid professional at their school, it is likely they will be talking to a NASFAA member.

Given his role, Justin provides an “inside baseball” look at the world of financial aid from his intimate knowledge of the operations of a financial aid office to the broader trends that have gotten us where we are today. Given the location of his offices (you know, that town on the Potomac), Justin also has a good sense of where the regulatory winds are blowing.

Listen to this podcast to get Justin’s take on:

The Envelope, Please…Announcing The NGPF Teacher Innovator Award Winners


Announcing the winners of the 2016 NGPF Teacher Innovator Awards…. Drumroll please. Wait a minute, first we have some people to thank.

Thank you to all of the teachers who contributed to this contest by sharing your favorite activity. It inspires us to see the creativity and innovation occurring in personal finance classrooms across the country. Our selection process this year was made that much more difficult due to the quantity and quality of the submissions.

In fact, the quality and creativity was so high, that we decided to honor four additional teachers beyond the three that we had originally intended. We hope that you enjoy reviewing their activities (we certainly did) and find one that you can’t wait to use in your classroom.

Interactive: What Is The Automation Potential of over 750 U.S. Jobs?

Definitely a must-have interactive for your Careers Unit, from the Visual Capitalist:

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So, how to use this chart that is overflowing with data?

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Lauren Asher, Student Loan and Financial Aid Expert and Advocate


It’s college decision time for high school seniors and the NGPF podcast show was lucky to have Lauren Asher join us recently to discuss the financial issues that go into this decision.  At the helm of The Institute for College Access and Success (aka TICAS), Lauren advocates for a simpler, fairer, more transparent financial aid process to ensure broader access to educational opportunity.

TICAS’s research on the issues of college affordability, student debt and financial aid shows their deep knowledge on these issues which has proven effective at creating change through the regulatory and legislative process. If you have ever read an article about average student debt in this country, the source was likely from TICAS’s Project on Student Debt. Their recent efforts have led to FAFSA simplification, broadened eligibility for income-based student loan repayment plans and changed the timing of FAFSA information to improve visibility for families in the financial aid they can expect.

Listen to this podcast to hear Lauren weigh in on: