Monthly Archives: April 2015

Want Budgeting to Stick With Your Students? Find an App!

USA Today reporting on recent Neilsen study that shows 1) More consumers using budgeting apps on their mobile phones 2) Those that do, are successful at controlling their spending:

In a survey of more than 3,600 smartphone owners who use their phones to shop or bank, out this month, 18% said they use their phones to budget and of those, 69% said they strongly or mostly agree that budgeting apps have helped change their spending habits.

Why do people enjoy using budgeting apps? Continue reading

One Person’s Misery Is Another Person’s…Math Problem

Hat tip to Rob Carrick of Globe and Mail for pointing out a CNN story titled “I’m 57 and owe $152,000 in student loans,” which he described as “student loan hell.”

I thought this story which traces the travails of a Rosemary Anderson would be a way to engage students both to the dangers of student loans but also how compound interest can work against you if you are a borrower not making payments on a loan.  It also will provide students the chance to hone their analytical skills (and wonder why some of these numbers don’t seem to add up!).

So, how might I think about structuring this activity? Continue reading

What’s New At Schools?

Tracking recent personal finance activity at high schools across America:

  • Bucks County (PA) high schools teaming up with Philly Fed (Bucks County Courier):Students in Chuck Deal’s personal finance class at Neshaminy High School will end the year knowing how to protect themselves from identity theft, create a budget and keep from getting taken for a ride when they buy their first car. Those topics, and more, are part of a popular personal finance course that draws some of its programming from one of the largest financial institutions in the country: the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Junior Achievement put on a full-day financial literacy workshop for Central York (PA) High School students (York Daily Record):

Continue reading

April 27th Activity of the Day: Build A Credit Card Calculator

It is one thing to tell students that credit cards carry high interest rates, it is probably more effective for learning to have them actually input those high interest rates into their own credit card calculator to see the impact on payments.  In this activity “Excel: Build a Credit Card Calculator,” students get an opportunity to flex their spreadsheet muscles through an activity that provides four options based on level of expertise.  Please share this with your math department too as this activity helps students understand the mathematical underpinnings of credit card calculators and develop a deeper understanding rather than just inputting factors into an online calculator.

The activity starts with a basic scenario that includes information about a credit card balance, a minimum payment amount and an A.P.R. (Annual Percentage Rate).   Continue reading