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Every adult I have ever told that I teach Financial Literacy responds back to me “I wish I had a class like that when I was young.” We all know the importance, but the students aren’t always ready for it. Lessons on auto loans, and financing college get through to many, but other topics like investing seem too far removed.

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Posted by klfocht
Asked on January 14, 2016 4:53 am
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Have them volunteer at a facility that feeds the homeless. Use the “Aging” App to show their future selves.

What are you going to tell Him/Her in 60 years ….. What would the 60 year old you tell you to do>?

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Posted by DavidBattleBuddy
Answered on January 14, 2016 7:01 am
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I do a project somewhat like the game Life. Students draw an occupation and a city they live in. I make them calculate their taxes on their income, take out reasonable expenses, get on Zillow and find a place to live, etc. Then they look at how much money they have left. Some have extra because they have great jobs, they can choose to invest. Others don’t have any, usually because they pick a fancy apartment they can’t afford, or their salary is too low. Then, I have them figure up how much savings they would have (rough estimate) after 40 years to retire with. Some kids get to choose fancy houses on the beach to retire in. Others don’t get to retire at all. It really makes them think about their future choices of occupation, city to live in, and spending.

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Posted by Mskemper
Answered on January 14, 2016 7:19 am
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I work to make the activities as relevant to them as possible – ex -we track every penny they spend for a month regardless if their parents gave them the money or they earned it. The we do a reflection essay looking at their spending.

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Answered on January 14, 2016 8:06 am
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I tell my personal stories and they get to see my real accounts. They pay attention much more when they know it is real and it is their teacher’s information. They have seen my resume, stock portfolio, credit report, bank account, paycheck, tax return, property taxes, mortgage papers, car loan, my business paperwork, etc. So I have to show that I practice what I “preach” ,and they see the good stuff and the bad stuff (i.e. stocks that have lost me money).

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Posted by cjohnson
Answered on January 14, 2016 8:35 am
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The value of this will depend on your geographic location, but an eye opener for me is to use Texas Reality Check at http://www.texasrealitycheck.com/

It lets them “shop” for the kind of life they want to have and what things they want to be able to buy and then tells them what they would need to earn annually to support that. Then we go to Excel and figure what the annual wages would be at minimum wage and I ask them to look at the difference, even though the Excel figure would be even less when taxes and other deductions came out. There is a career section that will let them see what careers would allow them their desired income and tells what level of education is required. I think some of the amounts in the site are a little low and need to be updated, but they are still amazed that minimum wage doesn’t support what they consider to be a minimum level of lifestyle. There may be similar sites for other areas of the country.

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Posted by linchbell
Answered on January 14, 2016 9:10 am
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As a high school student myself (and intern at NGPF), sometimes it really is difficult to get myself to care about personal finance topics. As some of the other people on the thread posted, I think showing students the effect of not knowing how to manage their money will motivate them to learn about personal finance. I used this example on a different thread but I watched 5 documentaries about people that have student debt and those documentaries motivated me to look for more and more scholarships. I also think talking about personal experience and having students talk to their parents and learn about what they would have done different would motivate them as well.

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Posted by Ren Makino
Answered on January 14, 2016 4:12 pm
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I think it helps to keep the examples current, fresh and directly relevant to students. For example, in talking about financial goal setting, it helps to talk about something a student is likely to want in the immediate future (e.g., a new phone, video game, concert tickets, etc.) rather than something that seems too far in the future or in dollar amounts that they can’t quite appreciate (e.g., new car, house).

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Posted by Anna
Answered on January 15, 2016 3:14 pm
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I like to share personal stories with them about different personal finance topics. Now everyone is going to have different experiences with what they have happen to them financially but giving them first hand perspective of things. I do ask students on topics about saving for retirement to borrowing money talk to a parent or grandparent to see how they handle those situations we are discussing and report back. It can give them a different view they may have never thought about and learn from a mistake a parent or grandparent.

The same conversation can be done with students and an older sibling that has been dealing with finances as they have gotten out on their own. The same with older students that are further along in college can give their perspective on different topics. Any chance we can to make the subject come alive is the key to making an impact.

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Posted by kossjoe1999
Answered on January 16, 2016 2:04 pm
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I also think that choice is pretty powerful too. Since I knew students would complete a pre-test today at varying rates, I gave them a list of simulations (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QEflKtYLnWqg9OfoRFxuYirydZtK_ayx8aDNfvt8d84/edit?usp=sharing) where they could choose to play the ones that were interesting to them. This worksheet also asked them to reflect on what they learned through this process: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QEflKtYLnWqg9OfoRFxuYirydZtK_ayx8aDNfvt8d84/edit?usp=sharing

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Posted by Tim Ranzetta
Answered on February 1, 2016 6:09 pm
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The University of Illinois has a curriculum called “Welcome to the Real World” that is a simulation for students to go through (takes about an hour, hour and a half at the most) can be used in conjunction with a personal finance or consumer economics course.

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/wttrw/

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Posted by SashWhitGrabby
Answered on February 2, 2016 11:23 am
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