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Curriculum

Each lesson includes a lesson overview, facilitator instructions, answer keys, discussion guides, and a lesson evaluation.

Lesson 1: Who Am I with Money?

Understanding what leads people to make different spending choices is an important step in learning how to manage your money. Lesson Guide Revised
  • Five activities using worksheets, handouts, game cards, beans and a wallet card for participants are included.
  • Game cards, beans, and the Take Charge Card are provided in the Resource Box.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with two activities focusing on values and identifying needs versus wants.
    • A sixty-minute version with two additional activities to break the ice and analyze their buying habits.
    • A bonus activity about how well they are managing their money.

Lesson 2: Tracking Spending

Tracking expenses is an essential money management skill.
  • Five activities using worksheets, handouts, and category cards are included.
  • Category cards are provided in the Resource Box.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with three activities focusing on choosing relevant spending categories and becoming familiar with a variety of ways to track their spending as well as understanding and creating a SMART goal.
    • A sixty-minute version with two additional activities to motivate people to track their expenses for a set period of time.

Lesson 3: Savings

To become more financially secure, plan how to save a little money each week or each month. The best place to keep your money depends on how and when you'll use it.
  • Six activities using worksheets, handouts, puzzle pieces, play money, beads, and a wallet card are included.
  • Play money, puzzle pieces, beads and the Red Flags of Investment Fraud card are provided in the Resource Box.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with three activities focusing on why saving is important, different money personalities, and three ways to jumpstart your savings.
    • A sixty-minute version with two additional activities that demonstrates how money grows over time using beads (provided in the Resource Box), and the different kinds of savings and where to keep it.
    • A bonus activity about investment fraud.

Lesson 4: Spending Plans

Spending plans are never perfect, but using one helps you notice if some expenses are more than expected. Then you can make adjustments in other areas and keep your total spending on track. Lesson 4 Teaching Tip
  • Six activities using worksheets, handouts, and category cards are included.
  • Category cards are provided in the Resource Box.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with two activities focusing on needs versus wants and creating a spending plan based on a case example.
    • A sixty-minute version with two additional activities that demonstrate the differences between fixed, flexible and occasional expenses as well as creating an individualized spending plan.
    • Two bonus activities about understanding how to revise a spending plan based on actual expenses and making a spending plan for special events.

Lesson 5: Money Services

Money services (such as checking accounts, prepaid cards, and check cashing stores) help people manage their money, but users need to be aware of fees.
  • Six activities using worksheets, handouts, and group discussion are included.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with two activities focusing on fees charged by different money services and comparing/contrasting money services in a case example.
    • A sixty-minute version with three additional activities to break the ice, share what they know and want to learn about different money services as well as a discussion on how to monitor money service accounts.
    • Homework or large group discussion on different types of money services.

Lesson 6: Choosing Credit

To use credit wisely weigh the advantages against the costs, both of which can vary widely depending on the loan and the type of lender. Cash Cat, Super Sleuth
  • Seven activities using worksheets, handouts, group discussions, individual and small group activities, play money and question signs are included.
  • Play money is provided in the Resource Box.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with three activities that focus on weighing the cost against the advantages of credit, understanding and analyzing the effects of different annual percentage rates, and exploring how lending fees and interest rates can affect the cost of owning an item.
    • A sixty-minute lesson with two additional activities to help participants evaluate their ability to handle credit payments, as well as create a plan for paying down debt using two different methods.

Lesson 7: What Happens if I Don't Pay?

Not paying your bills has consequences. Even when you're late, pay as soon as you can.
  • Six activities using worksheets, handouts, group discussions, role-play and homework are included.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with three activities that focus on recognizing when debt is becoming unmanageable and the costs of not paying bills, as well as knowing how much they owe.
    • A sixty-minute lesson with two additional activities about actions that lenders can take against someone who doesn't pay as well plus how to manage a repayment plan based on their spending plan.
    • A bonus activity to evaluate their use of credit.

Lesson 8: Credit History and Score

Paying bills on time and paying down debt are key strategies to build a good credit history and score.
  • Four activities using handouts, group discussion and a pie chart with labels included.
  • The FICO® Score Pie Chart is provided in the Resource Box.
  • Choose from:
    • A thirty-minute version with two activities that focus on knowing how to check their credit report for free as well as understanding the components of a credit score with tips on how to improve it.
    • A sixty-minute lesson with two additional activities that focus on establishing and building a positive credit history, as well as knowing why it is important to check their credit reports.

Resource Box

When you purchase the curriculum, you receive a Resource Box!

The Resource Box contains re-usable materials for activities such as game cards, play money, puzzle pieces, category cards, and beads, as well as reproducible items that are given to participants, such as the Take Charge Card wallet card.

Lesson 4 Puzzle Piece

Contents include:

  • Spending Choice Game Cards – three sets of cards
  • Beans for each small group – enough beans for three sets
  • Take Charge Cards – cards, to give to participants
  • Category Cards – three sets of different cards, including fixed and flexible cards
  • Envelope Budgeting Steps – cards, to give to each participant
  • Green beads, blue beads and two lanyards – enough for one demonstration
  • Red Flag of Investment Fraud Cards – cards, to give to participants
  • FICO® Score Pie Chart
  • Why Does it Matter Situation – set of cards
  • Different Type of Money puzzle pieces
  • Play Money