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Personal Finance - Overview


Learn more about how important personal finance and financial planning is.

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									                      Economics and Personal Finance Resources on the Web
                                          July, 2010
The list below is a database of websites and online resources for teachers of economics and personal finance.

Part 1:  Personal Finance Overviews and Lesson Plans 
1-1.    The Consumer Action Website

        The online PDF version of the entire 172-page Consumer Action Handbook includes consumer topics, a sample
        complaint letter, and an index. This guide to being a smart shopper offers helpful tips about preventing identity theft,
        avoiding consumer and investment fraud, and using credit cards wisely. The Consumer Assistance Directory has
        thousands of names, addresses, telephone numbers, web site listings, and e-mail addresses for corporations,
        consumer organizations, car manufacturers, state government offices, federal agencies, Better Business Bureaus,
        and more.

1-2.    Treasury Direct

        This easy-to-use site provides useful advice to consumers about savings bonds, such as how much they are worth,
        what to do if a bond is lost, tax liabilities, and many other topics related to bonds.

1-3.    The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

        Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten
        through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources. The Jump$tart
        online “Clearinghouse” provides a database of personal finance educational resources available from a variety of
        providers. The interactive “Reality Check” asks students answer a few basic questions about the kind of lifestyle they
        want and then lets them know the amount of income, the type of job, and the level of education they’ll need. There's
        also a section that lists personal financial management standards, benchmarks, and best practices.

1-4.    LifeSmarts

        LifeSmarts is an interactive education program that teaches high school and junior high school students the skills
        they need to be consumer savvy in today's marketplace. With the support of a coach, students form online teams,
        use practice tools available on the website and, when ready, compete online. Available to all US students in grades
        6-12, LifeSmarts teaches consumer literacy in areas of personal finance; consumer rights and responsibilities;
        technology; health and safety; and the environment. The virtual classroom, LifeSmarts U, makes lessons in these
        topics available to educators and students all year.

1-5.™ is a tutorial website that explains the fundamentals of money, banking, and saving to children.
        Children join the™ characters on a tour of money, savings, interest, checking, and electronic banking.
        The game room offers ten multiple choice quizzes based on information learned in the story. Two interactive
        calculators demonstrate principles of saving and interest. Children may enter, select or change certain variables that
        effect the final calculation so children will learn how time, contributions, and interest rates impact their savings. The
        Holiday Savings Calculator totals how much money a child can save by a specific date, based on principal and
        weekly savings. The Car Calculator shows a child how much he can save over a certain number of years, based on
        principal, interest, and weekly savings.

1-6.    SoundMoney

        Visitors can listen any time (via this site) to recent broadcasts of a popular radio show on personal finance called
        American Public Media. The resources section includes listings of web sites, books, etc. related to weekly
        broadcasts. There's also a forum for sharing tips on saving money.

1-7.    Building Wealth: A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future

        This is a personal finance education resource to help young people, adult consumers, families and others develop a
        plan for building personal wealth. It presents an overview of personal wealth-building strategies that includes setting
        financial goals, budgeting, saving and investing, managing debt, and understanding credit reports and credit scores.
        The program is available online in PDF or in an interactive version. There is also a resource guide.

1-8.    Building Wealth in the Classroom

        These PDF lesson plans are designed to facilitate the use of Building Wealth in high school classes. The lessons use
        a variety of instructional techniques and include student activities, handouts and presentation visuals. Payment
        calculators are available for credit cards, mortgages, and car loans.
1-9.    The Money Circle

        The Kansas City Fed offers this free, classroom-ready curriculum for high school students that addresses key
        objectives including understanding the history, functions, and characteristics of money, evaluating personal financial
        decisions relative to education/training, establishing and using credit wisely, analyzing saving and investing options
        and budgeting concepts, and understanding the role of the Federal Reserve in affecting the money supply.

1-10.   Professor Finance and the Fed Boy Meet the Catastrophe Clan Resources/

        The Kansas City Fed offers this role play activity to introduce students in grades 7-10 to the use and misuse of credit
        in a humorous format and emphasizes the importance of wise financial decision-making.

1-11.   Financial Literacy in Action

        The New York Fed offers these six learning activities to promote understanding of investing, credit, banking, spending
        plans, insurance, and taxes.

1-12.   It’s Your Paycheck!

        This nine-lesson curriculum unit is designed for use in high school personal finance classes. It employs a variety of
        teaching strategies to engage students so that they have opportunities to apply concepts being taught.

1-13.   Cards, Cars and Currency

        This is a curriculum unit that challenges students to become involved in three specific areas of personal finance:
        credit cards, debit cards and purchasing a car. The activities are designed to address problem-solving, critical-
        thinking and higher levels of learning, using real-world scenarios.

1-14.   Personal Finance Lesson Plans of the St. Louis Fed

        The St. Louis Fed offers several teaching activities on personal finance. Extra Credit: It’s No Fairy Tale focuses on
        the rise in short-term liabilities and possible solutions. In the lesson Entrepreneurship, students learn how to assess
        the life and work of an entrepreneur. Just Sign Here: Bottom-Line Personal Finance Myths focuses on spending,
        saving, and credit. To Get the Right Answers about College: Ask the Right Questions reviews typical costs a college
        student faces and various types of education loans available. Piggy Bank Primer: Saving and Budgeting (activity
        and teacher’s guide) is designed for students in grades 1-3. Check the search engine for additional lessons.

1-15.   It All Adds Up

        This is a website for teens who want to get a head start on their financial futures. The web site contains online
        games and simulations to help students learn about credit management, buying a car, paying for college,
        budgeting, saving, and investing. All of the activities are Internet-based and free.

1-16.   Gen I Revolution: Online Personal Finance Game

        Gen i Revolution is an online game developed to teach personal finance skills to middle and high school students.
        Working with Mission leader Monique students undertake 15 thirty-minute “Missions” to fight the "Murktide," an
        insidious lack of personal finance knowledge that is creeping across the country. Students join the Gen i Revolution,
        strategically select their Operatives, and begin to explore and earn points as they work to complete each Mission.
        Students help "Angela" figure out whether to invest in a 401(k) plan; work with "Diana" to figure out whether to get a
        payday loan for her daughter's dental work; teach "Uncle Louie" about the stock market, and much more. “Missions”
        can be enabled/disabled depending on how the teacher wants to deliver the material.

1-17.   The Mint

        The Mint emphasizes personal finance literacy by providing tools to help parents and educators teach children about
        sound money management and establish good money habits at home.

1-18. is the U.S. government's website dedicated to the basics about financial education. Whether you are
        buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401(k), the resources on can help you
        maximize your financial decisions. Throughout the site, you will find important information from twenty federal
        agencies designed to help you make smart financial choices. Content is organized by where you are in life ("Life
        Events"), who you are ("My Resources"), and by specific hands-on tools such as calculators and budgeting
        worksheets ("Tools"). Popular topics are also highlighted. This site provides summaries of resources available at
        other official government sites and allows you to open those pages in a new window ("Learn More"). Curriculum
        resources include links to “Money Smart”, “Understanding Taxes”, and other programs.

1.19.   Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction (CBI)

        The Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) is a friendly and easy to use learning tool that teaches the ten
        modules of the Money Smart curriculum through a computer. The CBI can complement formal classes or enable
        people to study independently at their own pace. Each module generally takes between 20-30 minutes to complete.
        Students receive ongoing feedback and, upon successful completion of each module, can print out a personalized
        certificate of completion. The CBI is available online or on CD-ROM.

1.20.   Money Math: Lessons for Life

        This is a four-lesson curriculum supplement for middle school math classes, teaching grade 7-9 math concepts using
        real-life examples from personal finance. The 86-page book is a teacher's guide with lesson plans, reproducible
        activity pages, and teaching tips. A teacher needs only one copy of “Money Math: Lessons for Life” to teach several
        classes of students.

1-21.   NEFE High School Financial Planning Program

        The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP)
        includes a seven unit Student Guide and Instructor’s Manual about how to handle and manage money. Knowledge
        the student gains from the course is turned into real actions that result in positive habits. The program personalizes
        learning so that students can immediately begin to apply learned skills in their own life. Carefully designed
        exercises and activities move the student step-by-step toward each of the seven core competencies that the
        program teaches. In the process, students create their own financial plan, budget, personal saving and investing
        plan, strategy to use in handling credit and managing debt.


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