NGPF Featured Lesson: What’s the Cost of Living?

Oct 10, 2014
Budgeting, Personal Finance, Financial Literacy

From Jessica Endlich Winkler, NGPF curriculum developer extraordinaire:

A few weeks back I wrote a description of our Budgeting Basics lesson, which walks students through the entire process of creating a young, working adult’s monthly budget.  If you haven’t checked it out and tried it with your students yet, it’s located here in our Gooru library.

Once students have a preliminary go at creating the entire budget, it’s time to teach them new concepts and refine their skills in individual budgeting categories.

Lesson 6.2 is What’s the Cost of Living? and it begins with the assumption that students have just graduated, they’re going to secure their first full-time job, and the world is their oyster in terms of where they’d like to live.  This NGPF original activity relies on Sperling’s Best Places website and the Rent-o-Meter online tool to help students make decisions on where they relocate in the US.  I think our blend of real-world online tools, integrated with carefully crafted activities designed specifically for high school or early college students, is one of NGPF’s greatest strengths. 

As the lesson progresses, students read and watch videos on how to choose a roommate and rent an apartment.  We’ve found this slightly goofy but extremely informative video on renter’s insurance – Mr. Insured and Mr. Uninsured.  Students wrap up by doing online research about how much utilities will cost in their newly chosen city of residence – once again, they’re doing the online learning by completing a homegrown NGPF activity.

I think this lesson would work for high school or college students who are about to make these real world decisions for the first time.  Enjoy!

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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