With the holiday season in full swing, it’s a great time to introduce financial literacy concepts to students. After all, it's spending season! More than 165 million Americans shopped in stores and online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Foundation.
Along with lots of fun and good cheer, the holiday season brings us gift exchanges, special cultural events, and year-end fundraisers aplenty — all of which can bring added financial burdens. Students can begin to draw connections between saving and spending when they're asked to consider the costs associated with their holiday wish lists. All those tech toys gadgets, grooming supplies, and trendy clothes they're pining for come at a price. How about asking them to do the math, and take a moment to pause and think about how these purchases could impact their family's budget? It could spark an interactive classroom discussion about the difference between needs and wants, the value of the dollar, the benefits of "earning as they learn" with a part-time job, and last but not least – the importance of building personal financial literacy.
Capacity, character, credit, and your career.
Financial literacy is an essential component of effective career planning and development. “Let’s face it — learning how to manage money doesn’t come easily for most of us,” said Beth Wingert, who serves as a career coach and professional development instructor for Kuder. “The earlier we can begin to understand how to spend, save, and invest wisely, the better.”
If you're using Kuder Navigator® with students, be sure to direct them to the Financial Literacy 101 curriculum, which contains nine modules that provide accurate information, introduce concepts and ideas, spark awareness, and empower them to take control of their financial lives.
“I encourage the students I coach to spend quality time with Navigator’s Financial Literacy 101, because it contains a multitude of finance education resources that they can easily access directly inside the system,” said Wingert.
Interest, investment, and equity, oh my.
What do the rule of 72, monthly income budgeting, and mortgages have in common? They’re all explained in detail in Navigator's Financial Literacy 101 curriculum, which covers the following topics:
- Bank Basics
- Borrowing Basics
- Money Matters
- Checking Account Basics
- Pay Yourself First
- Consumer Protection & Identity Theft Prevention
- Loan Types
Financial Literacy 101 can supplement or reinforce a school's existing financial literacy curriculum. The curriculum's most popular topics for students include a monthly income expense worksheet, a list of reasons to keep money in a bank, checking account FAQs, step-by-step instructions on what to do if your wallet or purse is lost or stolen, how to build a good credit history, and how a FICO credit score is determined.
Bring finance education into your classroom with this fun activity.
In addition to Financial Literacy 101, here's an activity to get your students thinking about occupations as they relate to potential income. The next time you use Navigator with your students, have them log into their accounts and direct them to do the following:
- If they haven't already done so, have students complete the three Kuder assessments to find occupations aligned to their interests, skills confidence, and work values.
- Ask students to explore three occupations of choice, based on their assessment results.
- For each occupation, ask students to record:
- How much they might earn. (What is the projected salary and outlook?)
- How much education or training might they need.
- What a day might be like in that occupation.
- If that occupation is likely to have openings in their state.
"The bottom line is that it's essential for students to be financially literate, and they should have this knowledge under their belt before they leave high school," said Wingert. "They need to know how to make and balance a budget, and they need to be knowledgeable about loans, mortgages, interest rates, and have an idea of the income they’ll need to earn to support the lifestyle they’d like in the future."
- financial literacy