Category: Writing assignment

Activity (Update): All The Finance Advice You Need Should Fit On An Index Card

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Apr 17, 2016
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Credit Scores, Activity, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Index Funds, Investing, Savings, Financial Literacy, Current Events, Insurance, Video Resource, Writing assignment, Compound Interest
Ok, I admit that I have a bit of a fascination with this concept of “all we need to know about personal finance should fit on an index card.” Why? It’s the notion that the simplest solution is often the best solution, especially when it comes to personal finance. For example, when thinking about investing, aren’t a few well-diversified index funds going to serve you better than trying to choose among 7,000 mutual funds or a similar number of publicly-traded stocks? So,...

Activity Idea: Personal Finance Truths Displayed On A Napkin

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Mar 07, 2016
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Paying for College, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Savings, Teaching Strategies, Stocks, Purchase Decisions, Generosity, Parent Conversations, Writing assignment
I stumbled across this interactive that displays over 150 of the Sketch Guy’s (aka Carl Richards) Personal Finance on a Napkin posts. I love the way he can take complex topics and break them down using simple drawings. Here’s an example of one of his sketches that shows the relationship between your happiness when spending money on others: You might ask your students to select 5 (or any other number you think is appropriate) of these sketches, read the blog post that accompanies...

Simulation: Living Paycheck to Paycheck (Spent)

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Feb 26, 2016
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Activity, Purchase Decisions, Insurance, Employment, Writing assignment
On a recent NGPF podcast (released next week), Helaine Olen mentioned an online game called Spent (click to play the game!) (click to play the game), which I am finally getting a chance to play. The tagline on their home page is “It’s Just Stuff. Until You Don’t Have It.” I have created a set of questions for students to accompany the game. Here’s their opening challenge: I accepted the challenge which is to make it through the month with $1,000 in savings and no...

Activity Idea: Financial Advice By Text

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Jan 27, 2016
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Activity, Budgeting, Checking Accounts, Teaching Strategies, New Products, Current Events, Writing assignment
I came across this TechCrunch article about a new company called NextGenVest: It’s setting out to help students manage the process of financial aid applications and financial management. Think: your friend who’s already done it all, checking out your forms and guiding you through the process. The platform provides reminders, guidance and on-demand help over SMS text message and Snapchat (see examples below). So, what’s the activity? Pair your students up. One student is the financial...

Activity Idea: How To Manage Money (and Fit It On An Index Card)

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Jan 11, 2016
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Personal Finance, Index Funds, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Credit Reports, Article, Writing assignment
I recommended this activity earlier on the blog.  The premise was that the best money management advice should be simple and fit on an index card. I thought it would be a great culminating activity for a personal finance course because: It would demonstrate what left the greatest impression on students and what they retained across all the units that you taught and It is easy for students to put in their wallet, backpack or purse to provide constant reminders This idea of an index card was...

NGPF Podcast: Anna Takahashi, College and Financial Counseling For First Gen Students

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Jan 04, 2016
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Paying for College, Financial Literacy, Teaching Strategies, Schools In News, Audio Resource, Featured Teachers, Podcasts, Writing assignment
Thanks to Anna Takahashi, Director of College Counseling at Eastside College Preparatory School in East Palo Alto, California for participating in this recent NGPF podcast. Anna wears many different hats at Eastside as college counselor, personal finance teacher and financial aid expert to name just a few. She has devoted her career to serving first gen students, that is, students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Listen to this podcast to hear Anna’s insights on:...

Writing Assignment: Write A Letter To A Friend/Sibling/Parent To Give Financial Advice

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Dec 16, 2015
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Activity, Index Funds, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Parent Conversations, Tips for Teachers, Writing assignment
I got this activity idea from this Kiplinger article.  In the article, the writer describes a letter he wrote to his 20-something son to explain investing.  His son found it helpful so the writer decided to share it with a broader audience.  Here is an excerpt: Build a solid base. For longer-term money, such as money in your 401(k) plan or IRA, you can afford to take risks in the stock market. Stick with mutual funds, which let you diversify or spread your risk. The best funds to start...

A Cheat Sheet For Your Financial Life

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Nov 16, 2015
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Credit Cards, Investing, Savings, Financial Literacy, Chart of the Week, Writing assignment
From LifeHacker’s Two Cents: Why do I love this chart? Too often in personal finance, we focus on curricular “units” instead of taking a more holistic approach to finances. So, we talk about savings in one unit, investing in another and credit in another when our lives are much more integrated than this approach would suggest. I love this graphic because it helps students see a fuller picture on how to prioritize savings, debt, investing for retirement and just plain...

Writing Reflection: What Were The Last Ten Things You Purchased?

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Oct 30, 2015
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Activity, Payment Types, Teaching Strategies, Advertising, Purchase Decisions, Writing assignment
Got this idea for a student writing assignment from a recent Forbes column in which people open their wallets and describe the last ten things they purchased while also providing the payment type, some context and the motivation for the purchase. Here is an excerpt from a 19 year old college student: Thursday 1. Breakfast bagel sandwich: $7.78 Although I have a meal plan at my university, I occasionally treat myself to food from outside establishments for breakfast. On this day, I woke up...