October 26, 2016

Halloween Lesson Plan: Facing Financial Fears

Halloween is here and it’s time to embrace the things that scare us. But while witches, goblins, and ghouls may give us chills, sometimes the financial crises we dream up in our heads are what really keep us awake at night.

This month, try working with students to help them face their financial fears. Talk openly about what aspects of finance scare or worry them the most. Together, figure out what steps you can take to prepare for each set of circumstances.

It always pays to have a plan of action, especially in matters of personal finance. Here are a few examples:

An (Expensive) Emergency

Whether your computer just crashed or the engine of your car overheated, expensive accidents happen to all of us. Sure the unknown is scary, but there are still some measures you can take to minimize the damage.

You can’t predict the future, but thinking ahead and getting into smart routines can be the difference between little problems escalating into much bigger ones. For the examples noted above, running regular anti-virus scans and staying on top of routine car tune ups would probably have flagged minor issues before they became disruptive.

Student Loan Debt

Many young people worry about drowning in student loan debt after they graduate.

Use this opportunity to show students that there are many tools available to help them map out their post-graduation finances. They can manage their budgets with an easy-to-use student loan calculator that estimates payments, and even use a monthly payment calculator to see a breakdown of their payments over the life of their loan.

Finding a Job

Another post-graduation fear that looms over students: finding a job. How long will it take? What if no positions are open in their field? Can they afford to take an internship somewhere?

Navigating that kind of uncertainty can be daunting. The best thing students can do to ensure that they’re prepared is save, save, save.

Teach students the importance of creating a backup fund. Work with them to map out their budgets and look for ways they can stop overspending.  Show them that it’s smart to have a few months of expenses saved in advance so they’ll be covered, even temporarily, as they venture out into the workforce.

See? When you break it all down, having the tools and financial savvy to plan ahead can make even the scariest situations more manageable.

What are some of your students’ biggest financial concerns?

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