Financial Pitfalls Activities

INTERACTIVE: Win the Powerball!

In this activity students will be able to: 

  • "Play" the Powerball using an online lottery simulation and explore the likelihood of winning the huge jackpot
  • See how they fare standing up against the powerful positive imagery and allure of the Powerball advertisements
  • Complete an optional math bonus section to dive a little deeper into the probability of any individual number being selected a winner

INTERACTIVE: Payday Loans Across the Nation

In this activity, students will:

  • Navigate how states across the country regulate payday lending by comparing key details such as usage rate, maximum amounts, and term conditions.
  • Explore how payday loans can cause consumers to fall into vicious cycles of debt.

ANALYZE: Change a Bad Financial Habit

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Examine a bad financial habit of theirs that they would like to change 
  • Understand the Habit Cycle as described by Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit
  • Create and execute a plan to help them change their bad financial habit
  • Reflect on how the Habit Cycle empowers them to change their habits 

ANALYZE: The Influence of Advertisements

In this activity, students will be able to: 

  • Understand the various strategies advertisers use to influence consumers
  • Analyze 6 different commercials and identify which strategies advertisers are using most effectively

ANALYZE: Predatory Lending Cartoons

In this activity, students will be able to: 

  • Examine a number of cartoons about predatory lending and choose one to analyze in more depth
  • Explain the cartoon's key message about predatory lending and how it depicts that message

INTERACTIVE: What If You Played the Lottery? (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Simulate playing the TX Powerball and collect class-wise data on their outcomes to determine whether the lottery is a good “investment” of their money.
  • Available in English & Spanish

 

INTERACTIVE: Have You Been Hacked?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Complete a quiz to see how many times their personal information has been hacked
  • Propose solutions to avoid these hacks 

CALCULATE: Play the Lottery or Save? (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use an online calculator to calculate the value an average Texan who normally plays the lottery would extract by investing the money in a retirement account instead.
  • Available in English & Spanish

COMPARE: Types of Identity Theft (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:
  • Explore the various types of identity theft and risk factors for each.

ROLEPLAY: Say NO to Loan Requests (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Role-play declining to give personal loans to family and friends in a variety of real-world scenarios.
  • Available in English & Spanish

READ: Bankrupt at 23

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Read and respond to a blog post from a woman who had to file for bankruptcy at age 23 because of out-of-control credit card spending and debt.

CALCULATE: The Cost of Rent-to-Own

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use a credit card calculator and some data from Consumer Reports to compare the cost of “purchasing” a washer dryer from Rent-to-Own versus purchasing the same washer dryer on a credit card.

READ: Personal Loans

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use this reading guide to learn about all personal loans and strategies to use if a family member or friend asks for money.

RESEARCH: Bankruptcy Web Quest (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Use the internet to research definitions for key bankruptcy terms.
  • Define the vocabulary in their own words and provide examples.
  • Available in English & Spanish