About the Author

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an M.B.A. in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducting student workshops, and developing finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

Author: Beth Tallman

Reading List for January 24-26

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Jan 24, 2020
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Current Events, Credit Scores, Budgeting, Career, Investing, Retirement, Personal Finance
Current Events/Credit Scores One of the biggest stories hitting this week and running through social media is news of the new FICO scoring criteria. (USA Today) “Most consumers will see less than a 20-point swing in either direction,” David Shellenberger, FICO’s vice president, product management, scores, said in a statement on Thursday. “That’s roughly 110 million that will see only a modest change to scores, if at all.”   Budgeting Many of you shared...

Reading List for January 17-19

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Jan 17, 2020
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Financial Literacy, Investing, Economics, Paying for College
Financial Literacy The corporate world is trying to fill in the void in financial literacy among their employees. According to a WorldatWork survey: “70% of the 326 employers surveyed currently offer financial well-being benefits and more than half intend to expand such offerings in 2020.” According to FinTech Times, FinTech businesses are also feeling compelled to fill the financial literacy gap among their customers with education initiatives. Investing/Economics This...

QoD: How many states do not have state income taxes?

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Jan 15, 2020
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Question of the Day, Taxes
Did you know that most people have to file tax returns for BOTH federal AND state income taxes? Listed below are 7 states that do not (as of 1/10/2020) have state income taxes.  Answer: 7: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming Find the top tax rate for your state here:  Note: Tennessee and New Hampshire tax investment income.  Questions: How does your state's tax rate compare to other neighboring states?  Do you think that states that...

QoD: Walmart vs. Amazon: Which has been the better performing stock over the past five years?

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Jan 14, 2020
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Investing, Question of the Day, Index Funds
Answer: AMAZON by a long shot! Reviewing the chart, how much would your $100 investment five years ago have grown if you had invested in... Amazon? Walmart? The overall stock market (S&P 500)?  Would you have been better off choosing between these 2 companies or just buying the overall stock market through an index fund? Why do you think that Amazon has performed so much better than Walmart? (Hint: Do you think that online ecommerce is growing faster than “bricks and...

Reading List for January 10-12

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Jan 10, 2020
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Employment, Economics, Investing, Paying for College
Your (Financial) Health If you only have time to read one of these articles this week, make it this eye-opening piece from the Atlantic that digs into a research paper by economics from the St. Louis Fed on the college wealth premium—different from the income premium. (St. Louis Fed) And then find a few minutes for this important read on how mental health issues can severely mpact your financial health. (Business Insider)   Economics Is the Fed running out of tools to deal with a...

Reading List for January 3-5 (2020!)

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Jan 03, 2020
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Financial Literacy, Student Loans, Stocks, Checking Accounts
Happy New Year! This week's list includes a few articles reflecting back on the the past decade, as well as reflections on personal financial health and habits. If you want an incredibly comprehensive look at what transpired in 2019, Barbara O'Neill has your back in this Journal of Financial Planning article, 2019 Personal Finance Year in Review.  Financial Literacy The emphasis in this article is moving the financial education much earlier in a child’s development. (Education Dive)...

Last Reading List for 2019!!

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Dec 20, 2019
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Personal Finance, Budgeting, Credit Scores, Investing, Paying for College, Taxes, Retirement
Many of the articles this week have a common theme: reflecting on the 2010’s as the decade comes to a close. Wishing you all a joyful holiday season and hope you enjoy your well-deserved break!   Personal Finance Do you think the Social Security Administration should mail out statements annually, or let people log on and check themselves? (WAPO) Time again for New Years Resolutions: Here is a list from AICPA of 20 things you should consider doing to keep your financial life in order....

Question of the Day: _____ out of 3 Americans are limiting their spending each month

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Dec 15, 2019
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Podcasts, Purchase Decisions
 Answer: 2 out of 3 (66%) Here are the reasons they gave for limiting spending: Questions: Have you ever felt like you needed to limit your spending? Why? What do you think are the main reasons your peers would give for following a budget or limiting their spending? What do you think is a better saving strategy? Wait until the end of the month and save what’s left over Set aside your saving at the beginning of the month and spend whatever is left over after saving Do you...

Reading List for December 13-15

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Dec 13, 2019
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Personal Finance, Mutual Funds, Economics, Paying for College, Investing
Only one more reading list before the holidays, so we will start with Personal Finance Gift ideas! If you are looking to add to your holiday reading list (or wish list), here are the six books the Washington Post suggests you read on personal finance. How about gifts for kids that will teach them about money? Here is a list of ten to consider. (Yahoo Finance)   Economics The Fed is holding interest rates where they are, and will probably keep them there. (Bankrate.com) Where will...

QoD: Arrange these apps from most to least downloaded in 2019: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook

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Dec 08, 2019
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Current Events, Research
Answer: TikTok Facebook Instagram Questions: Why do you think that TikTok has become so popular? What does it do better than other apps?  What would be the top 3 apps that you have used in 2019 in terms of screen time?  Since TikTok has become so popular, do you think that Facebook will try and copy their features? If so, do you think it will be successful?  Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the...

Reading List for December 6-8

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Dec 06, 2019
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Economics, Investing, Budgeting, Paying for College, Current Events
Economics/Employment The November jobs report beat expectations. Dive into the numbers here. (USA Today) Does the jobs report give a complete employment picture? Forbes takes a look at the employment numbers and finds a large increase in low-quality, low-paying jobs.  "A study by the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization that conducts research to solve problems facing society, found that a large amount of the newly created positions are “low-wage”...

QoD: The number one job skill that very successful businesspeople attribute their success to is their __________ skills.

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Dec 03, 2019
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Question of the Day, Career
Answer: Sales  Questions: What does it take to be a successful salesperson?  How might these skills help someone be successful in other areas of business?  Raise your hand if you think you would consider going into sales? What sorts of sales-type jobs could you get at your age? Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers: (Yahoo Finance) Two-thirds of the mega-wealthy individuals interviewed for this...

Black Friday 2019 Reading List

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Nov 29, 2019
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Economics, Paying for College, Investing, Retirement, Parent Conversations
Today is the official start of the biggest retail push of the year. If you are reading this, you either have already braved the Black Friday crowds (or shopped last night), or you are giving it a pass and shopping online.  In any event, the crowds are expected to be a bit less chaotic this year (CBS). Here is a look at how online shopping and delivery are changing the world (IMO, not for the better): The Guardian discusses everything from the explosion of warehouses to environmental impact...

QoD: What is the most popular music streaming service?

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Nov 25, 2019
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Question of the Day, Behavioral Finance, Budgeting
Answer: YouTube Questions: What is your go-to source for music?  What do you like most about it? How much do you pay for it?  How does YouTube compare to Spotify or Pandora when it comes to music streaming? What would be your cost in time/money if you wanted to switch from your current streaming service?  Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Behind the numbers: (Washington Post) Not Spotify, not Apple Music,...

Reading List for November 22-24

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Nov 22, 2019
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Advocacy, Financial Literacy, Paying for College, Career, Financial Scams, Investing, Retirement
Financial Literacy and Advocacy ICYMI, Tim Ranzetta had two pieces hit Marketwatch this week. The first is an article explaining how excellent teachers will drive the financial literacy movement, and highlights several teachers you will recognize. The second is an opinion piece in which Tim quantifies the value of a high school personal finance class. Study Breaks’ Daniel Reed concurs with the need to make Personal Finance a high school graduation requirement.  Workers consistently...