Question: What Percentage of the Money Supply Is In Physical Coins and Currency?

Answer: About 10% of the $60 trillion of money worldwide.

Hat tip to Big Picture Blog for the idea for this blog post. They had a guest on their podcast, Yuval Noah Harari, who had this to say about money:

Harari describes money as a “collective fiction.” He notes that the total value of money worldwide is $60 trillion dollars, of which a mere $6 trillion is in cash or coins. This means 90 percent of all money is nothing more than entries in a computer server. Money, says Harari, is a “faith based object,” whose value is derived by the shared narrative about its worth.

This idea of a faith-based object explains the importance of trust in banking relationships. When that trust is lost, as in the case of this national bank that opened unauthorized accounts, customers vote with their feet.

Ask most people what percentage of THEIR money supply is in coins and currency and I’m guessing they would put it at a much lower percentage. Who carries cash today anyway? Kinda makes you wonder…


Interested in this money theme? Here is a video your students might like (with questions): How Much Money Have Humans Created?

By |March 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Win an NGPF Scholarship to Jump$tart 2017 in Washington D.C.!

Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) is awarding 25 scholarships, worth $425 each, for classroom teachers to attend the National Educator Conference in Washington, D.C.! To apply for your chance at one of these scholarships:

  1. Select an NGPF resource from the list below
  2. Use the resource with your students and collect 5 student work samples
  3. Complete the NGPF Jump$tart Application Form

Deadline for submissions is Friday, April 7, 2017.


By |March 15th, 2017|Contest Current, Uncategorized|

The Money Question: Do You Want Overdraft Protection?

Thanks to Mountain View High for inviting me to their AVID class last week (and for the next 7 Thursdays) to teach personal finance. Today’s topic was “How To Manage Your Checking Account.” I started with the Bank role play activity to highlight the questions that students should be prepared to ask PRIOR to opening an account. Asking the right questions has to be the foundational skill we need to develop in any financial education course.

The students responses included the importance of FEES with several discussing the pain that they felt when overdraft fees hit their account. During the role play, I asked the “money question” that all new accountholders will be asked when opening an account: “Would you like overdraft protection?” 

Educator Brian Page Shares His Lesson: Buying an Automobile

Earlier this month, we received an email from educator Brian Page about a lesson he had created on Buying an Automobile. First and foremost, we want to thank Brian for sharing such a great lesson with us. Second, we want to highlight some of the awesome things about his lesson below! If you are interested in using Brian’s materials, click here to access his resources in Google Drive, which are in “View Only” mode. To use them in your classroom, simply go to File and either click “Make a copy” OR “Add to My Drive”.

Brian describes what led him to create this lesson:

“This lesson uses the experiential learning method, which I prefer to use when at all possible. Before diving into the lesson, I need to provide context. I did not write the lesson with the intention of sharing it with others. So there is not a “teacher guide” with standard alignment and teacher specific nomenclature. We are a 1:1 school, so the lesson is designed for students who have access to a computer. Most importantly, much of the commentary I use in the video and some lesson requirements include the integration of behavioral economics. I scaffold such strategies throughout

By |March 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Schools in the News


  • ‘Credit for Life’ teaches Wallingford students how to manage personal finances (myrecordjournal.com)

Managing money isn’t a skill many high school students learn before graduating. Recent studies indicate the majority of American teens do not know how to solve basic financial problems. “When you’re younger, you don’t really see money as a precious thing. You just go to your parents for money,” Sheehan High School sophomore Gavin Sparks said. The school district held an event Wednesday that gave high school sophomores a simulated experience with personal finances.

A Catholic school system in Bismarck is planning to build a financial education center for students, after receiving a $2 million donation. Officials at Light of Christ schools and the head of Choice Financial announced the construction of the new center Thursday, The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2lV5xYJ ) reported. The center aims to improve financial literacy and foster business skills among the school’s students. “Personal finance or financial literacy teaches lessons on credit cards and loans. This is so useful for upcoming college students such as myself that will be on their own in the future,” Madison Baumgartner,

By |March 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|

Question: How Much Does Bad Credit Cost You With Auto Insurance?

Answer (from Consumer Reports): $2,090

A two-car couple with poor credit will pay an extra $2,090, on average, compared to a family with excellent credit. That’s more than what it usually costs to add a teen driver or even the penalty for having two DWIs.

Many people are surprised to discover the various ways that credit scores are used to gauge an individual’s trustworthiness (note that I didn’t say creditworthiness). Now, here’s some evidence that auto insurance companies price risk using credit scores and that a low credit score can really cost you.

I actually just had a insurer who provides homeowner’s insurance ask me for my credit score since they thought they could get me a lower premium. When I sent them my score, I was surprised to see a 30% reduction in my premium. Yay! Another reason to manage your credit well!


Want to give your students experience reading a credit report? Here’s our Fine Print on Credit Reports.


By |February 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Spreadsheet Application: How A Millennial Paid Off $113,000 In Student Loans In 7 Years

This caught the attention of the NGPF Team this afternoon. Anytime I see headlines like this with details about loan amounts, interest rates, monthly payments, I wonder “Can I replicate this in a spreadsheet?” (Here’s another example of a spreadsheet created to show how a janitor could leave an $8 million estate). One of the key questions that your students might be curious about is “How did a $68,000 loan turn into $113,000 in payments, especially since it was paid off in only 7 years?”

Here’s the spreadsheet that I created

Let’s unpack this mystery. First, how I derived my assumptions from the article about Jessica B:

By |February 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Podcasts I’m Teeing Up For This Weekend

What I am listening to this weekend:

  • “Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Danny Kahneman, behavioral and cognitive psychologist, author of “Thinking, Fast and Slow” and winner of the 2002 Nobel prize for economics” (Hat tip to Big Picture Blog)
  • Radiolab Presents: Ponzi Supernova – interviews with Bernie Madoff who perpetuated the largest Ponzi scheme in history: sociopath or victim? You be the judge!
  • Steve Kerr on the Axe File – whether you like the Golden State Warriors or not, you will enjoy this interview with an amazing coach (and person).
  • Making Bank from Planet MoneyToday on the show, we trace the evolution of banks from the Knights Templar to today. It’s the story of how a band of warrior monks working out of a very old church in London changed the way we think about money. There’s bloodshed, world domination, and lots of accounting.”

Enjoy the weekend!

By |February 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|