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A New Way to Teach Spreadsheets

In case you missed it in late March, NGPF’s diving in deep to spreadsheet work. Read on…

WHY SPREADSHEETS?

A recent study from Burning Glass Technologies reveals that:

  • 78% of middle-skill jobs include spreadsheets as a baseline requirement
  • Digitally intensive jobs are growing 2.5 times more rapidly than non-spreadsheet required jobs
  • Digitally intensive jobs pay 18% higher than non-digital jobs

Your students need these skills!

 

THE NGPF SOLUTION

We’re always looking to help, so here’s what we’ve done for you and your students:

  1. Created a YouTube playlist of 10 How-To videos, each under 5 minutes, teaching your students basic spreadsheet skills
  2. Categorized 30 NGPF Activities, Projects, and Case Studies that embed spreadsheet skills
  3. Embedded links directly in each NGPF activity to the coordinating How-To video(s) required to complete the spreadsheet, providing on-demand support for your students who need it. Samples:

EXTRA SUPPORT

We focused on spreadsheets during our March webinar, and you can get all of the archived resources from that PD event here.

Do you LOVE spreadsheets? Wish you could teach more spreadsheets? Need support? Tell us

Audio Resource: How Does Our Spending Reflect Our Values?

Just done listening to this 28 minute Hidden Brain podcast “Money Talks” which asks such provocative questions such as:

  • Would you buy clothing from a department store if you knew the apparel was made in a sweatshop?
  • If you have a choice between a local coffee shop and a national chain, which would you choose?
  • Does how a company treats its employees (e.g, Uber) or customers (e.g., United) factor into your purchasing decision?

I also learned a new term listening to this podcast:”buycott”, which is the opposite of boycott. You will also hear about some interesting research findings about how ethics play into purchase decisions.

Description

Podcast: How Does Scarcity (Time, Money, Relationships) Impact Our Brain?

Thanks for my friend Dan Mennel for pointing this podcast out to me: Hidden Brain: Tunnel Vision (Episode 65, 36:34)

What I like about this podcast:

The first fifteen minutes of the podcast deal with the issue of money scarcity and describe how our brains are wired to handle it and how our responses often meet short-term needs at the expense of our long-term goals.

From Hidden Brain website: When you’re hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you’re desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you’re lonely, you might obsess about making friends. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore the psychological phenomenon of scarcity and how it can affect our ability to see the big picture and cope with problems in our lives.

  • Timeline:

Resource Lists for Financial Educators (courtesy of Barbara O’Neill of Rutgers Cooperative Extension)

What does a distinguished professor do during her sabbatical? Curate personal finance resources, of course! In this blog post, Barbara O’Neill shares the fruits of her hundreds of hours of labor in putting together three awesome resource lists (see bottom of post for links to her lists), including what what she considered the “best of the best” from the NGPF library. As she describes below, the purpose of her odyssey was to replenish her “well” of creative learning activities. I hope that your “well” overflows as you find resources that will work in your classroom. Thank you Barbara for this tremendous gift to the community! Your commitment and dedication to improving financial literacy in this country inspires us.

Video: Suburbs and Cities: Why Do We Live Where We Do?

Hat tip to Big Picture blog who brought this well produced and engaging 10 minute video to my attention. It provides an historical perspective on how cities developed and the factors that determine where people live in in the U.S. compared to Europe. This would be a good supplement to your budgeting lesson as housing costs tend to be the largest expense so where you live is consequential:

Questions for students:

  • Why did cities in Europe develop differently than those in the U.S.?
  • Where do rich people tend to settle in European cities? Why? How is it different in the U.S.?
  • What factors led to more suburbanization in the U.S. compared to Europe?
  • What is the unintended consequence of this move to the suburbs in the U.S.?
  • Where would you prefer to live: the suburbs or a city? Why?

_______

Check out the most popular NGPF Activity: Create A Salary-Based Budget

By |March 22nd, 2017|Budgeting, Mortgages, Purchase Decisions, Research, Video Resource|

What’s New With Credit Reports?

Here are a few new developments that we are tracking:

  • Consumers are about to benefit from changes afoot with credit reports (From WSJ [subscription] with hat tip to NGPF Team member, Sonia):

Videos: What’s New In Investing?

  • Warren Buffett’s Million Dollar Bet: Who’s Winning (from MarketWatch)?
    • What’s the bet?
    • What’s a hedge fund? What’s an index fund?
    • Who’s winning? Why?
    • Why should this matter to you as a regular investor? What’s the lesson?
  • Fee war breaks out on commissions to trade stocks (from CNBC):
    • How much are brokerage fees going down? Is this good news for investors?
    • Why do you think the online brokerage stocks are falling with this news?
    • Do you think investors will change brokers based on these cost reductions?

What’s New In Behavioral Economics?

I thought I would highlight some recent behavioral economics resources that caught my eye recently:

  • ArticleHow Behavioral Economics Can Help You Retire Rich (Bloomberg article). Have your students read the article and ask them ONE action they will take based on these findings. Here are some of the interesting experiments described:
    • How to get people to save more with their tax refunds: “In one experiment, a control group of users was sent a simple text after a refund showed up in checking. It asked what percentage of the refund they’d like to save. The answer: an average of 10 percent. The experimental group was messaged before getting any refund check. Its text said that members might get a tax refund and asked what percentage of it they’d want to save. They answered 15 percent.”
    • How the 401(k) structure encourages savings: “A 401(k) plan is a pre-commitment device. “Imagine a world in which you didn’t have 401(k)s and every month you decided how much to save,” Ariely said. “It would be a terrible world, from a savings perspective.” Even better are automated programs that bump up contributions into 401(k)s. Fidelity Investments did some math on that. They used the example of a 25-year-old employee making $40,000 and getting annual raises of 1.5 percent after inflation. If she bumped up the percent of salary going into a 401(k) plan by 1 percent every year for 12 years, she’d have $1,930 more (PDF) in monthly retirement income.
By |March 8th, 2017|Article, Behavioral Finance, Savings, Video Resource|