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Financial Literacy

Course Overview

Financial Literacy is designed to help students develop a knowledgeable and healthy relationship with their personal finances. To meet that goal, students will pursue specific learning targets through engagement in readings, discussions, and projects.

Course Content

Unit 1: Economic Way of Thinking

Students learn the skills necessary to develop financial responsibility by introducing terms frequently used in financial information. Additionally, the unit focuses on financial methods. Students learn to read financial information for comprehension and develop communication strategies to discuss financial information, through the use of summary paragraphs, compare and contrast, and note taking strategies. Students will learn how to make a financial decision and demonstrate how to calculate compound and simple interest.

Unit 2: Earning Income

Students will learn how to find a job and understand paycheck deductions. Students will examine lifestyles in relation to career choices. Students will learn to make reasonable financial decisions by analyzing alternatives and consequences to those financial decisions. They will analyze the cost and benefits of choices, including education, savings, housing, transportation, leisure, food/clothing, and health. Students will analyze the options and consequences of a financial decision.

Unit 3: Money Management

Students will learn to make a financial plan based on their needs, wants, short and long term goals, values, and priorities. They will also learn about the financial services various types of financial institutions provide. Students will learn how to control their personal information. They will learn the impact of social networks, online shopping, email, sharing their personal information, and how those actions impact credit reporting, access to higher education, employment opportunities, and quality of life goals. The students will develop a system for keeping track of financial records.

Unit 4: Saving

Students learn how to budget for savings, how to protect your savings, the importance of savings to financial well being, and buying and selling investments. Students learn how to develop budgets and make plans for spending and saving. They learn ways to mitigate risk (e.g., insurance) and the role of federal and state agencies in consumer protection. Students learn how savings and investing contribute to financial well-being. They will learn the risks and rewards of saving and investing. Students learn how to evaluate financial information and how investment markets operate.

Unit 5: Spending and Using Credit

Students will learn to identify the costs and benefits of various types of credit. Students learn to evaluate options for credit and how to understand their credit report. Students identify methods to avoid and resolve debt problems. Students learn the skills to understand the use of credit. Students compare various types of secured and unsecured debt (e.g., personal loans, lines of credit, credit cards, student loans). Students will determine the cost/benefit analysis of using credit for specific uses, such as access to resources, convenience, emergencies, and paying overtime. Students will learn how to compute finance charges, to differentiate between add-on and annual percentage rates, and how the annual percentage rate and loan repayment period affect the cost of a loan. Students will learn how to calculate the cost of credit after learning about interest rates, finance fees, late fees, and risk. Students will learn the purpose of a credit report and how one’s credit score is calculated. They will learn the impact of a credit score on their ability to secure financing, employment, and housing. They will learn about consumer protection laws regarding credit.