Monthly Archives: April 2017

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Product Review: Worried About Overdrawing Your Checking Account? There’s An App for That!

A whole lot of peoples’ pain ($33 billion in overdraft fees) seems like an opportunity to one entrepreneur!

From BusinessInsider:

Mark Cuban was crushed with overdraft fees in his 20s. Now he’s backing an app that’s trying to help people avoid having to pay them. The billionaire has invested in a new app called Dave that aims to predict coming expenses for users to help prevent them from overdrafting on their bank accounts.

Have your students go to Dave.com and review the app:

Interactive: How Can I Retire Early?

As an educator, I often get this question from students. Yes, I know they have attention spans that are minute to minute (or text to text) but when the subject of retirement comes up, they usually fixate on “How can I get there as soon as possible?”

What I love about this post from Mr. Money Moustache (last seen on this blog in 2014), is the simplicity of his answer and how it all comes down to ONE factor: 

What I’m Reading This Week (April 29th)

The average credit card interest rate has risen to 15.74%, an all-time high, according to CreditCards.com.

That record covers the span that the card comparison website has been conducting its weekly analysis. In the past, long before the internet, credit card rates have been a lot higher. But in recent memory, they haven’t. CreditCards.com calculates its average by looking at the rates on the 100 most popular credit cards in the U.S., in all types of categories. For example, the average rate on credit cards for consumers with bad credit is much higher – 23.20%. But “low interest” credit cards, usually offered to consumers with good or excellent credit, have an average interest rate of 12.50%.

  • Ex-Theater Agent Admits to Tricking Friends Into Investing in Fake Play (NY Times)

By |April 28th, 2017|Article, Uncategorized|

Interactive Chart: Which Careers Are The Biggest Gamble?

Hat tip to Of Dollars and Data blog (great content for math educators!) for posting this chart (see the interactive version of the chart from plotly):

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 9.05.38 AM

First, a little orientation: The X axis is hourly median wage for a given career and the Y axis is the differential in wages between the 10th and 75th percentile. So what the graph is telling us is that the careers that have the highest values on the Y axis have the highest percentage increase in wages between top (75th percentile) and bottom performers (10th percentile). As displayed on the graph, most of the high Y-axis values align with jobs in the entertainment business. For example, to take one job, Actor, you can see the hourly median wage is about $20 and the wage percentage increase between the 10th and 75th percentile is over 400%.

Have some fun with this graph by going to the interactive version here where your students can scroll over and find what career aligns with a given plot on the graph. Here are some questions:

  • What 4-5 jobs have the lowest amount of wage dispersion between top

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Co-Creator of “Spent” Game, Jenny Nicholson

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I first heard about the game Spent from podcast guest, Helaine Olen. She described it as one of the best simulations in how it immersed the player into what it feels like to live “paycheck to paycheck.” After playing the game in our offices, we agreed with her, wrapped an activity around it with discussion questions and added it to our Interactive Library. Teachers are glad we did since we are constantly getting feedback like this about the impact of the game on students:

Schools in the News

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  • How Microlending Builds Financial Literacy Skills and Empowers Students (Education Week)

Teachers understand that creating authentic, real-world learning experiences engage students in a way that improves learning and makes it more enjoyable. At Town School for Boys in San Francisco, 6th graders engage in a yearlong study of microfinance using project-based learning that explores what it means to run a business while developing meaningful success skills along the way. While global education initiatives have traditionally focused on humanities and science classes, the boys find many lessons of mathematics complement their journey while partnering with nonprofit Kiva.org, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

First period at Bennett High School was interrupted Monday by a rock concert. At least it started out that way. The Nashville-based, Kansas-bred band GOODING rocked the high school’s auditorium for four or five songs before the band’s lead singer and namesake turned teacher and gave the howling crowd of students a lesson on a subject they don’t often hear about in the classroom:

Ask Reddit: What’s the Best Way To Build Credit?

An important skill for students to build is the ability to critically analyze any form of media (articles, videos, reader comments or even friends and family) that they rely upon for financial advice. Forums such as Bogleheads can be a useful place to find financial advice but still requires a critical eye to separate the signal from the noise.

I came across this question on Reddit (“Just turned 18, What is the best way to start building credit) that had a manageable number of responses. I thought this would be a good assessment to use after your Managing Credit unit. This question about building credit has become more important for young people given CARD Act regulations that make it difficult to get a credit card before the age of 21 unless you have a parent co-signer or an independent source of income.

Here’s the mini-activity. Ask your students to…

Chart: Which College Majors Are Hottest (In Employers Eyes)?

From WSJ: