Financial Pitfalls Activities

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

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.

COMPARE: Forms of Identity Theft

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

CREATE: Scam Guidebook (Sp)

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Work in groups to become an expert on one type of financial scam.
  • Digitally collaborate to make a class presentation on 12 different scams.
  • Available in English & Spanish

DEBATE: Biggest Money Mistake You’ve Ever Made?

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Reflect on the biggest money mistake they’ve ever made.
  • Consider factors that led to their mistake, the impact of the mistake, and how they would act differently.
  • Write a letter advising their former self on better decision-making.

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.

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

ROLEPLAY: Lottery Scams

In this activity, students will be able to:

  • Watch a video on lottery scams targeted at elderly Americans. They then have a choice of five open-ended activities (create a PSA, write an email, draw a cartoon strip, etc) to effectively warn senior citizens not to fall for the scam.

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

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

In this activity, students will 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