Activity Idea: How To Manage Money (and Fit It On An Index Card)

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Jan 11, 2016
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Personal Finance, Index Funds, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Credit Reports, Article, Writing assignment

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I recommended this activity earlier on the blog.  The premise was that the best money management advice should be simple and fit on an index card. I thought it would be a great culminating activity for a personal finance course because:

  • It would demonstrate what left the greatest impression on students and what they retained across all the units that you taught and
  • It is easy for students to put in their wallet, backpack or purse to provide constant reminders

This idea of an index card was popularized by Harold Pollack and he has collaborated with Helaine Olen (appearing soon on the NGPF podcast!) on a new book “The Index  Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated.”

Ron Lieber, NY Times columnist, used his column this weekend to share index cards from a number of financial scribes including Jonathan Clements (listen to him on the NGPF podcast), Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) and Ron himself. The column also included index cards contributed by readers

With all these index cards to choose from, another interesting activity would be to have students read through both the expert and NY Times reader cards and create their own based on the ideas that make the most sense to them or that appear most frequently.

If you do this exercise in class, I would be happy to post the best of your students’ entries.  Good luck!

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.