February 21, 2017

What Mardi Gras Can Teach Students About Finance

Mardi Gras, also known as Shrove Tuesday or more commonly Fat Tuesday, is a carnival celebration associated with eating rich and fatty foods. This time of gluttony and celebration presents the perfect opportunity for students to reflect on spending and splurges in their own financial lives. Here’s some tips for students to celebrate on a budget and focus on financial responsibility after the parades have ended, beads have been thrown and one lucky partygoer has found the baby in the king cake. Read more

February 13, 2017

Tips for Planning Valentine’s Day on a Budget

Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it. As stores fill with candy, stuffed animals and flowers, many people feel the pressure to spend significant amounts of money in order to impress their significant other. For high school students who may be in their first relationship, the pressure can be even stronger.
Why not use the approaching holiday as an opportunity to teach your students about financial literacy? The following tips will help you demonstrate why a little thoughtful planning can go a long way when it comes to making Valentine’s gesture with a limited budget. Read more

February 13, 2017

How to Keep Financial New Year’s Resolutions

One month into the New Year, more than half of the students who toasted to a yearlong goal on January 1 have given up on their resolution. In fact, just 8% of people keep their New Year’s Resolutions. Last month on the blog we shared A Financial Literacy Fresh Start offering tips to share with students to start the New Year financially fit. As we move through February, here are common resolutions to pick back up as you help your students reaffirm their commitment to financial literacy and smart budgeting for the remainder of the year. Read more

January 20, 2017

2017: A Financial Literacy Fresh Start

2017: A Financial Literacy Fresh Start

After the toasts and the festivities of New Year’s Eve have wound down, it’s time to make some resolutions for the fresh year ahead. To kick off 2017, below are some tips you can share with your students to start them off on the right financial foot in the New Year. They also make for a great and engaging lesson plan! Read more

December 12, 2016

Building a Winter Break Budget

For high school and college students, the holiday season brings exams, followed by a long, leisurely break from classes. While time away from schoolwork and a chance to spend more time with family, friends and a cup of hot chocolate is a welcome change for most students, from a budget perspective winter break can put a strain on the wallet. With gift-giving and cold-weather activities, many people spend more than they are used to in December. Read more

November 7, 2016

Financial Literacy Lessons: Holiday Crime Prevention

Along with a large population of the country, your students are likely planning to partake in Black Friday festivities this month, kicking off the holiday spending season. Whether they are checking out sales online or staying up until midnight to head to the big box retailers in person, these big spending days during the holiday season bring increased risk of fraud and identity theft. Below are the basic financial literacy lessons to teach your students so that they can adequately protect themselves now and in the future. Read more

October 18, 2016

Financial Literacy Midterms

October is not just the time for apple picking, hanging cobwebs and stocking up for Halloween; it’s also the time to reflect on the lessons you have taught your students in the first few units of the school year, determine the skills and lessons they have mastered thus far and identify the areas that need extra time and attention. We have compiled tips and lesson plan ideas to prepare your students for midterms on financial literacy or other subjects and track against your goals for the months ahead.

Lesson Plans in Jeopardy

A great way to assess your students’ progress in an engaging way before midterms is with a classroom-wide review game. This free tool allows teachers to create their own fully-customizable Jeopardy-style game and provides support for determining categories, keeping score and suggestions for the final question. You can also incentivize studying in advance of the review game day by offering prizes to the winners (i.e. extra credit or pre-Halloween candy).

Two Heads Are Better Than One

By having your students review for midterm assessments together in pairs, you will have the opportunity to move throughout the classroom, provide individualized instruction and spend extra time addressing concepts that are foundational for lessons that will be taught later in the school year. You can even intentionally partner the strongest students in the classroom with those that have struggled with certain material. The teaching and learning between students will encourage conversation and make for a more engaged and inclusive classroom environment in the months ahead.

Put to the Test

Quizzes and written tests aren’t the only way to assess your students’ knowledge and in some cases they aren’t even ideal. For your midterm assessments on financial literacy, consider foregoing a test and asking students to present a real-life budget, or assign a creative project encouraging your students to film a video, perform a skit or write a poem that demonstrates financial literacy concepts. You’ll be surprised at what your students come up with!

If you want more tips for planning financial literacy lessons, be sure to check back every month on the Pathway to Financial Success blog.

September 28, 2016

Fall into Savings: How to Start Your Students on the Right Financial Foot

The sun is still shining and the feelings of summer are lingering, however, slowly but surely, the signs of fall are creeping in as everyone heads back to the classroom. Chances are most of your students spent at least part of the summer hard at work, whether it was tutoring, scooping ice cream, working retail or just mowing their parents’ lawns. Regardless, they likely did something to stir up some spending money. Below are some financial literacy lessons to impart to your students, advising them on how stretch their summer earnings as far as possible.

1.Evaluate your spending – It’s important that students carefully evaluate their spending. Complete an exercise with your students to walk through their weekly spending. This exercise should call out any bad spending habits – like that every day after school slice of pizza – that are hurting their finances.

2. Make a budget – At the core of every successful financial plan is a solid budget. Work with your students to make a budget for the school year, considering those big spending moments such as the holidays, birthdays and other events. Estimate how much they can spend each month, based on how much they’ve earned this summer, to help them make the most of their hard earned summer paychecks.

3. Save – High school students may feel it’s too early to start thinking seriously about saving, but an important lesson in financial literacy is that it is truly never too early. The financially trying days of college will be upon your students before they know it, so encourage them to put away a little money now – they’ll thank you later!

4. Grow your earnings – Even the strongest budget could benefit from some extra funds to work with. To close out this lesson, encourage your students to explore ways to earn money during the school year, every experience earning and dealing with money only improves their financial literacy skills!

If you enjoyed this piece, you’ll also enjoy reading about results and advice from real teachers who’ve taught financial literacy.