Yes, you can go to school! We all know that kids who do well in school have a better chance of doing well – and becoming well off – in life. But just as important as learning how to earn money is learning what to do with it.
Up to now most schools have not prepared students to deal with money issues in the real world. So it’s not surprising to see the disappointing results of a national survey sponsored by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. In the survey measuring 12th graders’ knowledge of basic personal finance, most failed, receiving average scores of just over 50 percent.
Things are finally changing and Yes, You Can is on the leading edge of providing the necessary resources to help parents and teachers influence the behaviors of children and young adults so they can set a course to financial independence.
It’s Available Now!
With the introduction of the Yes, You Can curriculum, American Century Investments – a longtime supporter of financial education – is expanding the classroom resources available for teachers. Aligned with the 8th grade Jump$tart National Standards for Personal Finance, the curriculum is appropriate for middle and high school students.
The curriculum’s goal is to help teachers challenge kids to:
- Examine their personal financial behaviors;
- Establish new and financially rewarding habits;
- Learn about personal financial concepts;
- Create the foundation for financial independence.
Module 1: Now and the Next Five Years
Students start a Personal Finance Portfolio notebook to organize their materials. They begin learning about setting financial goals, developing spending plans and deciphering what’s on an itemized paycheck.
Module 2: First Steps to Financial Independence
Through Pay Yourself First®, kids learn about savings and interest, inflation, credit cards and debt, and how to evaluate advertising.
Module 3: The Next Big Thing
Students learn about stocks and other investments, how to determine net worth and calculate expenses, and how to live within their means.
Module 4: Our Great Idea
After brainstorming ideas about how to tackle community issues, students come to a consensus and develop an action plan to successfully complete a project. What they learn helps them discover the rewards of entrepreneurship.
It’s FREE! All materials are available for download free. Just look under the Educatortab where, once you register, you’ll find lessons with interactive components, plus projects, assessments, PowerPoint® presentations and Adult Dialogue Activities. Web-based calculators called FIT (“Financial Independence Today”) tools include the Debt Reducer Calculator and Savings Goal Calculator.
While learning to handle money is serious business, the curriculum includes fun and games, too. The Whaddayaknow? Game Show lets teams answer questions on a game board, and the Yes, You Can BINGO game highlights financial vocabulary terms.
How do we know the curriculum will be workable for educators and students? We started by designing materials that adhere to the accepted 3 C’s of learning strategies: Constructive, Contextual and Collaborative learning.
Then we conducted a pilot in urban, suburban and rural middle schools and high schools to “test drive” the curriculum and get input from educators and parents.
It works! One of the pilot educators concluded: “I want to have the curriculum ready on day one. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.” A parent said the curriculum “helped begin the process of teaching my child about personal finance.”
Many schools offering the new curriculum are sending parents a letter by mail or e-mail. If you haven’t heard anything, contact your child’s teacher to encourage use of the program.
“It is important that your children learn what they can do with money early in life so they will apply the lessons learned as they face the real world in future years,” recommends Jim Stowers, founder, American Century Investments. Through the support of the company he founded, every child now has the opportunity to learn these life-enhancing lessons.
Reference: Financial Education From American Century Investments, Issue Yes You Can, Summer 2012, Website: http://yesyoucanonline.info/Earning/Earning-Articles/Leverage-Your-Summer-Internship
Many men and women still find it impossible to replenish their savings. Nevertheless, everyone has the potential in doing so, all you will need is a little dedication and know-how. After you sit down and determine a budget for this very important task, it becomes a whole lot of easier to actually accomplish this goal. So just do it– take advantage of this article and all of the knowledge included for getting yourself inside the right frame of mind to improve your position.
A good method to lower your temptations of spending the extra money you will save is to open a new savings account at a bank that you do not commonly use. After you open a new savings account at a different bank than the your main bank , you actually psychologically create a barrier for yourself as if the money is not there. Make sure you fund the new account monthly and if you can weekly would be ideal. So now that you’ve done something as simple as setting up a new account, you show be a step closer to financial independence.
Next, rather then buying meal every day while at work, prepare in advance a menu of your meals for the week. Packing yourself a meal at least 3 times a week would cut your expenses for about $30 for the week and perhaps a months worth would be $120. You may as well employ this to dinner meals likewise. This an easy cost savings measure that does not have be extreme nor difficult.
The easiest way to realize how your financial household works is to make note of the amount of money you spend in a four week period (a free online tool MINT and for business owners QUICKEN ) . After you’ve kept notes on the considerable amounts of money you are shelling out, then you definitely need to determine what habits are needed to be curbed or eliminated. You will like this simple strategy since they should be small adjustments. However, this will vary on case by case since every has different spending habits. So remember always keep a journal to assist you in visualizing what comes in and what goes out, simple budgeting for everyday spending. Moreover, it is much easier to save when you know what you are spending your money on.
Before you buy whatever you want, look at if or not this item can be cheaper at some other store or whenever you can come across coupons to cut back the price (Many Apps can be download to help you price shop) . Savings $5 here and $5 there are an will add up after a while. If you save yourself $25 dollars a week on buying items either on sale or at a cheaper price through coupons, then you could save yourself $100 a month. That money can be used very wisely elsewhere, so think again before you finalize a purchase.
In case you have cash you intend to burn. Be sure that you will not carry too much cash with you at all time. Carry around a reasonable amount to use in case of emergencies but nothing more than can hurt your budgeting efforts for a week. You probably want to carry around 20-40 dollars with you and only use it when you absolutely have to.
Although the ideas here can seem small or a little tedious, they are really effective methods for budgeting your hard earned dollars correctly. Just go ahead and check several of the approaches you learned and see if you notice difference with your particular financial situation over the span of a few months.