2 New Lessons: Retirement & College Budgeting

Oct 14, 2015
Budgeting, Investing, Featured NGPF Lesson, Front Page Spotlight, Activities, Excel Activities

We’re always excited to generate new content for teachers to use, and we’ve got two outstanding new lessons for you this week.

Investing for Retirement

First, if you use our Investing for Retirement lesson, your students will learn about Social Security, pensions, 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, and Traditional IRAs. More importantly, they’ll leave understanding why they need to start saving for retirement ASAP! What to look out for:


  • We love our “Types of Retirement Accounts” activity for both teaching and assessing their knowledge of how the accounts differ in terms of contributions, taxes, eligibility, etc. It’s got three brief (but great!) videos to explain the concepts.
  • We’ve also got a powerful activity to engage your students — “Dollar Cost Averaging in Action.” In Part I, they walk through a few months of investing, calculating average share price for a fictitious company. In Part II, they put their spreadsheet skills to use on real index fund data from Yahoo Finance.
  • Retirement is a tough topic to motivate high school students — it’s SO FAR AWAY! We’ve used our personal finance AND classroom expertise to put together something we think will work.
  • Check out 7.6 Investing for Retirement here!

Budgeting During College

If you’re providing your students a solid foundation in personal finance, they’ll know almost everything they need to know about how to budget during college. However, what we’ve done in this lesson is create some great, immersive experiences so they can almost FEEL those hard decisions before they really have to make them. For example:

  • In “Three Students Budget for the Semester,” you can choose whether to assign each student 1, 2, or all 3 college freshman scenarios. They’ll take facts about the student (ex: how much they received as a graduation gift, the cost of tuition) and create a balance sheet of income to expenses. Does the student have enough to pay for the first semester?
  • Follow that up with its extension activity, “Unanticipated Budget Changes,” when that same student is faced with the desire to go Greek, a possible on-campus job, and entertainment costs they just did not anticipate. Can they still afford this?
  • Similar to our wildly popular Salary-Based Budget, we’ve created a decision-filled “Monthly College Budget,” which can be completed one of two ways. As an activity, students are given sample costs to populate their budget — they decide between thrifty back-to-school shopping or a real spree, using average prices we’ve provided. As a project, they make the same decisions, but they fill in their own actual projected costs, from their financial aid forms or online research.
  • Check out 5.5 Budgeting During College here!

As always, send us an email with questions or suggestions for our next round of new resources!

About the Author

Jessica Endlich

When I started working at Next Gen Personal Finance, it's as though my undergraduate degree in finance, followed by ten years as an educator in an NYC public high school, suddenly all made sense.