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Financial Fundamentals

Our free, classroom-ready lesson plans take the mystery out of money smarts. Our lessons help you cover the basics of personal finance with videos, group activities, and more. Students will learn about the pros and cons of credit, how to choose a bank, and the smartest place to invest: their own future. Each lesson aligns with the national Common Core Standards and the Council for Economic Education’s Standards in personal finance. Focus on Finance (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides When you’re selecting a bank, the possibilities can be daunting. As students find part-time jobs and take on greater expenses such as cars and college payments, they can’t afford not to know the basics of banking. With the help of an online video, this lesson teaches students about the different services that financial institutions provide. Then, students will compare several financial institutions and pick the one that best meets their needs. Topics include debit cards, fees, ATMs, and more. Credit (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides Credit is a popular option for making purchases and covering expenses if you don’t have money on-hand. However, it can be easy to overlook the consequences of committing yourself to frequent payments. Students will see how using credit impacts their net worth, monthly budget, and balance sheet. Working in groups, students will discuss borrowing scenarios and evaluate if credit may be a good option. Invest in Yourself (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides When it comes to lifetime earnings, education makes all the difference. With the help of data from the Fed, students can see how each year spent in school improves their future opportunities. Students will identify a possible career in the Occupational Outlook Handbook and consider the steps necessary to achieve their goals. This lesson will help get students thinking about college applications and their plans following graduation. Students will work in groups and partners to complete hands-on activities, draw graphs, and write about what they learned. Savvy Savers (English, Spanish) | PowerPoint Slides Not all savings accounts are created equal. Students will learn what to look for when comparing savings accounts, including a quick and easy formula for approximating how much interest their savings will accumulate over time. This lesson introduces students to a core principle of investment: the greater the risk, the greater the opportunity for reward. Students of all ages will learn about the benefits of using a savings account as an essential part of their budget.