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24Jan, 2017

What’s the Average A.P.R. on Credit Cards In the U.S.?

By |January 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|

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Answer (from Creditcards.com via Motley Fool): 15.36% (a record high!)

A good reminder for students about a few key characteristics of credit cards:

  • Why are rates going up? Blame the rewards programs as one reason:
23Jan, 2017

NGPF’s Steps Up Commitment to Professional Development in 2017

By |January 23rd, 2017|Current Events, Podcasts, Professional Development, Tips for Teachers, Webinar|

You may have seen this recent announcement: Next Gen Personal Finance is pleased to announce a $120,000 challenge grant to Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy led by John Pelletier. This funding will enable dozens of Vermont financial educators to receive a graduate-level training program over the next three summers at the College. We are excited about restarting this program in Vermont which had great success earlier in the decade. Survey after survey shows teachers begging for more training to help boost their content knowledge and their confidence in the classroom. 2017 will see a dramatic increase in NGPF’s offerings to satisfy that demand.

Our ambitious plans over the next twelve months include:

23Jan, 2017

As More And More Spending Moves Online…

By |January 23rd, 2017|Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Chart of the Week, Purchase Decisions, Research|

It becomes easier to spend mindlessly. This is a great graphic (for more, check out this CNN article) to get your class talking about their spending habits:

Sketch-OneClickBuy

Ask your students to think back to items they have bought online recently from Amazon (or other websites) and how many are

23Jan, 2017

Videos: What Was Considered Good Financial Advice In the 1940s and 50s?

By |January 23rd, 2017|Budgeting, Checking Accounts, Investing, Savings, Stocks, Video Resource|

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Put this in the category of “not so current events.” Something about my impending birthday has me getting nostalgic for the “good ole days.” I stumbled across this trove of videos from the 1940s which would have been the financial advice that my teenage Mom would have been given. Here are some of the highlights that I thought you would enjoy (with questions):

  • Keeping a Budget: Your Thrift Habits (it’s 10 minutes long, but the first five minutes will give you plenty to discuss):
    • How was Ralph able to buy his camera?
    • What was the budget method that worked for Ralph (full disclosure: this was how I kept track of my newspaper route revenues)?  How did he track his progress toward saving for his camera?
    • Is it easy to make a budget work? Why or why not?
    • What are Jack’s sources of income?
    • What are Jack’s regular expenses? irregular expenses?
    • Why did Jack find it difficult to save?
    • What would be on your list of “Watch these expenses?”
    • Identify an item that you would like to save for and break it down to how much you need to save per week.
22Jan, 2017

Question: What Regions of the Country Have The Most Upward Mobility?

By |January 22nd, 2017|Career, Current Events, Policy, Question of the Day, Research|

The Equality of Opportunity Project released a vast trove of data last Wednesday focused, as its name suggests, on identifying characteristics in communities that foster upward mobility. In looking at over 700 metro and rural areas in the U.S., the researchers defined upward mobility in terms of a children’s chances of reaching the top 20% in income distribution given parents in the bottom 20%.

Here’s the results from crunching lots of data (note the legend that indicates lighter areas as having more upward mobility):

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  • An obvious question when one looks at a map like this is “what factors drive upward mobility?” Here’s what the researchers found:
22Jan, 2017

Looking to Save Money…Start With A Small Step

By |January 22nd, 2017|Behavioral Finance, Savings|

Reading one of my favorite newsletters, Farnam Street, last week and came across some good advice regarding that most difficult of human habits: Savings. Here was  their $1/day strategy:

Small Steps for saving money:

22Jan, 2017

Please Include Student Loans in Your Lessons!!!!

By |January 22nd, 2017|Activities, Activity, Article, Current Events, Paying for College, Student Loans, Teaching Strategies|

Connecting the dots on a weekend and thinking about recent student loan news. Most standard personal finance courses spend way too little time on this issue of student loans and more broadly paying for college. Why? One major reason is the national standards have not emphasized this issue of college finance (see how many times you find “college” and “student loans” in this 52 page document).

So, what are the dots that I am connecting and why the imperative to include in your curriculum? 1) almost 50% of student loan borrowers are struggling; 2) the fastest growing segment of student loan market is over 60; 3) the largest student loan servicer is being sued for“systematically and illegally failing borrowers at every stage of repayment.” Kinda makes you wonder how much #3 contributes to #1 but I digress:

19Jan, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Author, Columnist and Personal Finance Advocate Beth Kobliner

By |January 19th, 2017|Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Current Events, Index Funds, Investing, Personal Finance, Podcasts|

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I had a great conversation with Beth Kobliner recently. Beth has an incredible personal finance focused CV. She’s been a columnist at Money Magazine, authored one (and soon to be two) New York Times Bestsellers (Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties), served on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and gave financial advice to Elmo on Sesame Street (and a whole lot more too)! In this NGPF podcast, Beth shares the money lessons she learned growing up in Queens, New York as well as the motivation for her latest book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius, to be released in February. You will benefit from Beth’s insights on how to invest, use credit cards wisely and a simple test to control those impulsive purchases. Parents will find Beth’s new book a godsend in describing developmentally appropriate actions to build that financial decision-making muscle that your children need to thrive in this financially complex world. Enjoy!

Details:
19Jan, 2017

Guest Blog from Sue Suttich: “401(k) = Cha Ching!”

By |January 19th, 2017|Lesson Idea, NGPF Fellows, Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers|

When she was at Summer Institute 2016, NGPF Fellow Sue Suttich told us about the “Cha-Ching” policy she uses in her classroom. Now, as a follow-up, she’s providing all of you with this catchy strategy she implements throughout the year to help her students remember the most important personal finance concepts. Thanks for sharing, Sue!

19Jan, 2017

Question: What Are The Ten Most Popular Passwords?

By |January 19th, 2017|Current Events, Identity Theft, Question of the Day, Research|

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Before I answer, please let your students know if their password shows up below on this list, they better change it NOW!

Answer (from Consumerist):

18Jan, 2017

NGPF Product Launch: NGPF Releases Revamped Savings Unit

By |January 18th, 2017|Activity, Checking Accounts, compound interest, Current Events, Interactive, Savings, Teaching Strategies|

I am so proud of the NGPF team (Jessica, Sonia, Laura, Ren, Sid and Niko) that has worked feverishly to deliver a revamped Saving Unit that we released tonight. Why do we continue to revamp our lessons? The short answer can be found in our culture of continuous improvement as we are always looking for ways to make our lessons stronger (your feedback is critical in this process). Here is the longer answer: 

18Jan, 2017

Schools in the News

By |January 18th, 2017|Schools In News|

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  • Making sense of dollars: Susan Lidholm paces students through personal finance basics (Columbia Daily Tribune)

Susan Lidholm’s personal finance students at Rock Bridge High School have a track record of competing and placing in national competitions. So, it’s no surprise that Blaine Forshee describes Lidholm as an effective, “super approachable” teacher.

  • UD alum, global economic educator Kasman workshops with master’s students (UDaily)

When searching for solutions to the world’s most serious problems, many would agree that education is a clear choice. But few could explain specifically how education can help solve issues like poverty, governmental instability and social inequality. Working to find those answers is Romina Kasman, an educational consultant for the Department of Social Inclusion at the Organization of American States (OAS), a partnership between all 35 independent nations of the Americas.

  • Helping high schoolers manage money (IowaNow)

Artisha Norris signed up for a debit card so she wouldn’t ruin her credit. Jazzy Jones started budgeting her expenses. Quenisha Wood is more careful about where she spends her money. This wasn’t the case for the three Iowa City High School seniors before last year when, they admit, they knew