Date Filter: 2014/11/

Question of the Day: How Much Money Do You Need to Be Happy?

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Nov 25, 2014
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Budgeting
This might be an interesting question to pose to your students who may/may not have a context to answer it.  Another way of posing the question is to ask what “things” they think they need to be happy and estimate the cost of those items.  I predict you get a wide range of answers; from “not much” to millions of dollars.  This question provides a good introduction to the concepts of understanding needs and wants (see NGPF lesson here) and also the extremely tenuous link between money...

Question of the Day: Why Don’t People Give More?

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Nov 25, 2014
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Current Events
In light of my recent post about generosity at the check-out line and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, this NY Times column caught me eye as it asked that basic question.   Might be a good question to ask your students, “Since giving to others makes us feel good, why don’t people do it?” or even ask them what percentage of people give way 2% or more of their income? Here is the stat that stood out from the research findings:  More than 85% donate less than 2% of their income so only...

Activity Idea: What is Financial Innovation?

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Nov 25, 2014
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Activity, Question of the Day, Lesson Idea, New Products, Current Events
The pace of financial innovation has quickened which makes it all the more imperative that we teach students how to assess the new products being launched everyday.   I like to ask my college-aged nieces and nephews what they are using since young adults tend to be the early adopters for such services.  That is how I found out about Venmo, which is a mobile payment system which my nephew was raving about. What better way to engage students in this topic then to have them conduct research on...

Activity idea: Teaching Students to Be Savvy

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Nov 25, 2014
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Activity, Identity Theft, Lesson Idea, Financial Literacy
Consumer Reports published their Naughty and Nice List for 2014.  It called out companies who had run-ins with regulators due to practices that can be best be described as anti-consumer:  Here’s a sample: Hearthware Inc./NuWave Hearthware markets the popular NuWave infrared oven, sold primarily by infomercial (but also at stores such as Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond). The company has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau for misleading consumers regarding exorbitant shipping fees....

Financial Literacy: In the Schools

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Nov 25, 2014
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Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Current Events
Round-up of activities happening around the United States: Students in Eau Claire, WI area participated in Real Life Academy recently (WEAU.com): Kristan Motszko with the Eau Claire Area School District says no matter how much money students make when they are older they are still going to have to deal with money.  “I don’t think our financial literacy problem is going away, if anything statistics show it’s getting worse. More and more Americans are living pay check to pay check,”...

Investigate: Millionaire or Not?

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Nov 25, 2014
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Activity, Personal Finance, Investing, Savings, Current Events, Case Study
The story appeared a month ago and I read it, scratched my head, wondered if it was true and moved on.  The headline “A 27-year-old millionaire reveals how he built his wealth” made for effective “click bait” given the public’s fascination with millionaires (check out my list of best selling personal finance books and you get the idea).  Well, it turns out it wasn’t true.  I thought it might be fun to have your students play forensic accountants to see if they could find the...

Video Resources: Credit Cards

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Nov 21, 2014
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Credit Cards, Checking Accounts, Video Resource
Given the popularity of video among high school/college students, I will start featuring informative and short videos that are timely too.  Videos also serve as a great way for students to get familiar with financial product “lingo.”  This week the videos below deal with the right time to give kids a credit card, Apple Pay and technology changes coming to address security shortcomings with credit cards. Checking and credit cards for teens (WAVY.com, 4.5 minutes) Your teenager may think...

Chart of The Week: Why Do Millenials Fear Stocks?

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Nov 21, 2014
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Investing, Stocks, Chart of the Week
Fascinating chart from WSJ shows one reason that Millenials may not be so enthused about stocks.  For a millenial born in Jan. 1980, the stock market return (S&P500) adjusted for dividends and inflation was basically flat for the 12-year period from their 18th to their 30th birthday.  Contrast that with those born in 1970 (dating myself here, but I am just a few years from that date) who saw $1 turn into $5 during that 12 year period (1988-2000 was a heck of a bull market!). From WSJ...

Audio Resource: Before You Buy A Car From A Dealer, Listen To This….

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Nov 21, 2014
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Behavioral Finance, Advertising, Purchase Decisions
All consumers at some point will find themselves on a car lot looking to purchase a new or used car.  The internet has leveled the playing field for consumers who now have all the information they need to negotiate a fair price.  This American Life provides consumers with an insider’s view of a Jeep dealership and how incentives drive the behavior of salespeople, the general manager and consumers.  Among the fun facts you will learn from this radio show is that balloons sell cars.  Enjoy!...

NGPF Featured Lesson: Needs vs. Wants

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Nov 20, 2014
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Activity, Budgeting, Lesson Idea, Financial Literacy, Purchase Decisions
From Jessica Endlich Winkler, NGPF’s resident budget guru: Our unit on Budgeting is a long one, but students will legitimately have all the tools they need to complete a thorough, well planned, strategic budget for living as an independent adult. The final lesson in completing this process is for each student to determine their Needs vs. Wants. I think students will find it interesting to start by watching a video, analyzing an infographic, OR reading an article (all options in one resource!)...

We Love a Bargain: The Psychology of Discount Prices

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Nov 20, 2014
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Purchase Decisions, Current Events
With the kick-off of holiday shopping just days away, I thought this activity might be timely.  How many times have you uttered or heard someone else utter:  “…but it was on sale” OR “I got it 40% off” OR “what a steal.”  Yes, as the title says, we all love a bargain.  Why?  This Marketplace article (and audio) explains why: There is a psychological aspect to this, too. Finding deals can make people feel good. For some shoppers, it’s about the thrill of the hunt.  “When...

Credit Scores In the News

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Nov 20, 2014
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Credit Scores, Financial Literacy, Student Loans, Advertising, Current Events
Here’s what’s trending on credit scores recently: What city has the highest credit score?  Find out the answer and more in Experian’s State of Credit Report (Experian); great resource to familiarize your students with credit terminology: Experian’s fifth annual State of Credit highlights the U.S. cities with the highest and lowest credit scores, bankcard usage, average debt as well as other factors in more than 100 metropolitan areas across the country. To find out where your city...

What’s New With Student Loans?

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Nov 20, 2014
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Paying for College, Research, Student Loans
Busy week in student loan land: What’s the average student debt levels by state?  The HuffPost provides a graphic for students  to see how their state stacks up. This is a fee that you cannot avoid:  origination fees on federal student loans (The Hill); note that Stafford Loans carry 1.073% fee and PLUS loans 4.292% fees. Last month, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.), introduced legislation that would eliminate origination fees on federal student loans. Her office estimates that these...

Generosity on the Checkout Line

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Nov 20, 2014
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Personal Finance
Had to run over to the local Safeway this morning to get bread so my son would have lunch today.  I didn’t realize that I would get a lesson in generosity too!  While checking out, I got the standard pitch from the cashier (who I believe was the local manager) about donating $10 to the local Food Bank.  I mumbled something (hadn’t had my coffee yet) about it being a great cause that we are supporting at my son’s school by bringing in canned food.  When he said he would match my gift,...

Personal Finance: Schools In the News

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Nov 19, 2014
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Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Schools In News
This post highlights personal finance program at high schools that been featured in the news recently: Marion High School to require a year of personal finance as graduation requirement (Marion County Record): “Marion High School will no longer be one of those schools, starting with the class of 2017.  At its monthly meeting Monday, the USD 408 Board of Education voted to make a year of personal finance credit a requirement for graduation.” Colorado high schoolers playing the Stock...

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