Date Filter: 2015/05/

Audio Resource: How Does Gen Z Think About Money And College?

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May 31, 2015
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Activity, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Savings, Current Events, Audio Resource
Marketplace interviewed four college seniors who are older members of Generation Z (who were in middle school during the Great Recession) to get their perspectives on money, the economy and paying for college.  The audio resource is six minutes long and provides short answer snippets to the questions listed below. Prior to listening to the audio recording, It might be interesting to have your students do a pair-share choosing three of these questions so they can see how their perspectives are...

What A Gift!

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May 31, 2015
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Current Events, Video Resource, Generosity
Occasionally, you come across a story that restores your faith in humanity…this is one of them: From WMUR (video also available): The graduating class at Profile Junior-Senior High School in Bethlehem made a heartfelt decision to give the money raised for their senior class trip to the school’s principal, who was recently diagnosed with cancer…The gift comes less than a week after Vashaw told them she had been diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. After four years of hard...

Debit or Credit? How Do Americans Pay For Things?

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May 30, 2015
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Question of the Day, Research, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Payment Types, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Source: Bankrate Ask students to analyze the chart and come up with at least three takeaways.  Here are a few ideas: Over the last 10 years, Americans have made a dramatic shift by increasing usage of debit cards and decreasing credit card usage.  Over the past five years, there has been little change in their payment habits. Prepaid cards (see our primer on prepaid cards here), while still only 4% of payments, has grown dramatically. In terms of why payment patterns shifted in 2009, the...

Chart of the Week: Student Loan Debt Balances By Age

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May 30, 2015
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Paying for College, Research, Student Loans, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Source:  US News Ask your students to come up with some takeaways after analyzing this chart.  Here are a few ideas: Overall, student loan debt has more than tripled in the last 10 years from $346 billion to $1.15 trillion The bulk of the student loan burden falls on those under 40 years old, although it would appear that about 1/3 of student loan debt is held by those over 40, beyond the age when most student debt should already be paid off. Given how student debt seems prevalent even in...

What Are People Reading on the NGPF Blog: Top 10 Posts for May 2015

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May 30, 2015
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Activity, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Identity Theft, Investing, Savings, Student Loans, Purchase Decisions, Video Resource
It was a record month for the NGPF Blog, with visitors and page views increasing by over 300%!  Here is what personal finance educators were reading: #10: Activity Idea:  Plan That $1,600 Summer Vacation #9: What If the NBA Legend Who Allegedly Blew Through $154 Million Had A Savings Plan? #8: 50 Ways To Swipe Your Credit Card or Debit Card Numbers (Apologies to Paul Simon) #7: Why Every Student Needs To Complete A Financial Plan Before Entering College #6: You Ain’t Saved Nothing Yet: A...

Activity Idea: How To Make Credit Scores Engaging!

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May 29, 2015
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Credit Scores, Activity, Purchase Decisions, Credit Reports
Yes, it is possible!  I know that most personal finance teachers don’t look forward to teaching the concept of credit scores to their high school charges.  Most students have had no experience with them and may question the relevance of this topic.  As educators, we know how important it is to get ahead of this topic BEFORE students start to borrow and develop a credit history. So, in order to engage students on credit scores we developed this two part inquiry based activity (Estimating...

Activity Idea: What Are You Complaining About?

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May 29, 2015
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Credit Scores, Activity, Research, Credit Cards, Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Student Loans, Checking Accounts, Payment Types, Credit Reports, Financial Scams
I stumbled upon this Complaint Database on the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) website and thought it would make a great activity for students while also increasing their “street smarts” regarding common complaints with financial service firms. So, here’s an idea on how to create an activity using this database: First, have students select a product.  Go to column titled Product, put cursor over Menu (right hand side of Product column) and click on it.  On drop-down menu,...

Schools In The News: This Month In Financial Literacy

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May 29, 2015
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Schools In News, Current Events
Walter Cronkite had a passion for financial literacy.  A WAPO columnist plugs his curriculum here (Boston Globe): There isn’t enough caution in the curriculum of financial literacy materials. But that’s not the case with courses developed by the FoolProof Foundation, an organization that was created with help from the late CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, who, I learned, had a passion for financial literacy. “We have to take financial literacy back from people who make money when we...

Question: How Transparent Are Banks About The Checking Accounts They Offer?

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May 29, 2015
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Question of the Day, Research, Checking Accounts, Current Events
From Pew Charitable Trust Checks and Balances Report for 2015: Checking accounts are essential financial products, used by 9 in 10 American households, and they need to be safe, fair, and transparent.1 Yet the formal disclosure documents outlining account fees, terms, and conditions are often long, unintelligible, and opaque. Overdraft and transaction processing practices can result in surprise fees, and arbitration terms can limit a customer’s legal rights in the event of a dispute. Three...

Chart of the Week: How Does the Unemployment Rate Vary Based on Educational Attainment?

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May 29, 2015
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Career, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Research, Current Events, Chart of the Week
From WSJ: Questions for students: What key takeaways do you glean from this chart? What phrase might you use to summarize the chart? What do you think lead to the spike in unemployment rates in 2009 across all educational levels? What do you notice about the unemployment rate for “Some College” compared to “High School degree”?  Do employers value students who start college but don’t earn a degree? Does a college degree become more/less valuable during challenging economic times?...

Update: A Searchable Database of ALL our Videos

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May 28, 2015
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Lesson Idea, Teaching Strategies, New Products, Video Resource
Yesterday, I unveiled a searchable database of all the personal finance videos on our NGPF blog. Thanks to the amazing work of our interns, Ren & Sid, we’ve updated the database to include all the videos from our lessons, too. That’s right — between yesterday and today the video database has grown by 174 resources! You can access our FREE database of 218 personal finance videos here! Just in time for your end-of-year classroom needs, we hope.  If you need help searching...

Video Resource: What’s A Smart Credit Card?

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May 28, 2015
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Question of the Day, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Payment Types, New Products, Video Resource
Good video to incorporate in your lesson regarding payment types.  In this three minute video, an industry expert reviews smart credit cards on CBS News while also providing a vision for the future of digital payments. Key terms that come up in the video that students should be ready to define: Smart cards Apple Pay Security of smart cards Microchip technology “Chip and Pin” Two visions of how people will pay in the future As with any new product, ask students to come up with pros/cons...

Question: Does Family Income Level Impact College-Going Rates?

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May 28, 2015
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Activity, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Research, Student Loans, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Hat tip to Kim Clark at Money on College who tweeted about this great interactive exercise (from NY Times) that allows students to draw their answer to this question (using a touchpad) on a graph that has family income levels on X axis and college attendance rates on the Y axis. Once you have made your guess, you can see how your line compares with reality (based on research on children born in the early 1980s), as well as how it stacks up compared to the almost 35,000 NYT readers who had...

A Searchable Database of our Favorite NGPF Blog Videos

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May 27, 2015
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Lesson Idea, Teaching Strategies, New Products, Video Resource
As we develop new resources — blog posts, complete lessons and units, activities, etc. — we constantly ask ourselves, “How an we make personal finance teachers’ jobs easier?” Because, trust us, we know that teaching well is time consuming and a labor of love. So, not too long ago, Tim had a great idea: Let’s make a searchable database of the videos we’ve featured so far in our blog posts.  It’s the end of the school year, and videos can be a great...

Question: What Percentage of Americans Have LESS Than $400 In Emergency Fund?

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May 27, 2015
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Question of the Day, Research, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Savings
Answer: 47% From Wall Street Journal: But for many Americans, household finances remain fragile: 47% said they wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency expense or would have to borrow money or sell something, and 31% said they went without some form of medical care in the last year because they couldn’t afford it. That may go a long way towards explaining why banks collect so much in overdraft fees (see earlier post), credit card companies were expected to earn revenue over $158 billion...

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