NGPF Featured Lesson: The Cost of Commuting

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Oct 20, 2014
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Activity, Budgeting, Lesson Idea

From Jessica Endlich Winkler, our curriculum guru:

If you’re following along with our featured lessons, we’ve been walking you through our unit on Budgeting. A friend reviewed our last lesson and pointed out that this unit is not only useful for post-college grads, but for any young adult about to set off on his or her own for the first time, including students transitioning out of foster care. So, there’s a lot of applicability with this unit.

Lesson 6.3 is The Cost of CommutingBecause car ownership is a major expense, that means that commuting via some other means is potentially a huge money saver — cash that could be going toward an emergency fund, retirement, student loans, etc. Students completing this lesson do two separate NGPF original activities, the first of which is Do I Need a Car? and utilizes the website walkscore.com. Students also conduct their own web research to estimate costs associated with bike ownership, public transportation, ride sharing, etc. For students who decide they will, indeed, need a car, they complete Monthly Cost of Car Ownership. In between the activities, they learn from various web resources (articles from Forbes and US News & World Report, instructional videos, and web reference sites such as Edmonds and Bankrate).

Another reason I love this lesson is that it pairs perfectly with our stand-alone lesson  Purchasing a Used Car.  It’s the first in a series we’re calling “How to Buy” and was the featured lesson from our blog on September 23.

Happy budgeting!

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.

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