Monthly Archives: March 2015

Activity Idea: Call-In With Your Questions

Listening to this call-in show about financial literacy got me thinking about ways to replicate this in the classroom.  Here is one idea on how you might set this up:

  1. All students write down 1-2 personal finance questions that they have that are relevant to their lives.
  2. Collect all the questions and find the 6-7 questions that are most prevalent.
  3. Assign one of these 6-7 questions to each student so in a class of 21, there might be 3 students trying to answer the same question.
  4. Students research answers to the questions.
  5. Simulate talk show and have a student come up to the front of the class and answer the question that they had to answer.  You can read the question to them to simulate the call-in feature.
  6. The rest of the class is ready to discuss the answer in a conversation facilitated by you.

Good luck!

Chart of the Week: Is It Easy To Get A Loan?

From Quartz:


Interesting chart showing rejection rates by loan type over the past 18 months.  It provides an effective way to show the difference between secured (mortgage and auto loans) and unsecured loans (credit cards) and why lenders think differently about them.  Here are a few questions to ask students: Continue reading

Activity: Before You Make That Decision…Consult Your Future Self

In this era of immediate gratification, it is often difficult to think even days or months ahead..forget about years ahead in the future (which may explain why we do such a poor job of saving for retirement).

Marketplace’s David Brancaccio (article + 4 minute audio resource) to the rescue with an idea that neuroscientists think should help our myopia:  interview your future self.  Let them explain:

If there is no cure, some exercises may help. Professor Kable said even brief reveries pondering future events might help reduce discounting’s effects.

One exercise I like is not my invention, but seems right out of Charles Dickens. Before making a big financial decision, why not try interviewing one’s future self? After all, the Ghost of David Brancaccio’s Future has skin in the game, and that ghost deserves to have his say.

It is this future self who might judge that it is right to spend a fortune on college because my children will end up with more fulfilling lives. Yet, my future self might warn me from 2045 that he is stuck eating cat food because of that golden $17,000 Apple Watch I really had to have in 2015.

How to apply to the classroom? Continue reading

Question: What Is A Housing Bubble?

Many of the students in your class may have first-hand experience with the housing bubble.  Now a story from PBS NewsHour (8 minute video) is suggesting that bubbles may be inflating again in certain Florida markets.

Here are some questions to ask your students to look for in this piece: Continue reading