More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

http://MoreForYourMoney.extension.uiuc.edu

Teacher/Facilitator's Guide

The More for Your Money website can be used as a supplement to University of Illinois Extension's All Your Money and Your Money and Your Life curricula. The website provides information and activities to help students and/or clients better understand their money and how to use it wisely.

There are seven sections in the More for Your Money website — Values and Goals, Income and Expenses, Spending Plan, What Is Credit?, Using Credit Wisely, Debt Management, and, Saving Money. Each section teaches basic concepts about money management.

The website will help your students:

  • Think about and set personal spending goals.
  • Know their income and expenses.
  • Create a realistic and workable spending plan.
  • Use credit wisely.
  • Manage their debts.
  • Save money.

It is recommended that students work through the sections in order. It is especially important to work through the first three sections as presented, as they build on one another to develop a spending plan. However, if a student has a specific need or interest, he/she can work through the section that meets that need.

The objectives for each section are:

Values and Goals

  • Become more aware of how personal values and goals affect spending patterns.
  • Learn to distinguish needs from wants and to set priorities for spending.
  • Understand the importance of planning and decision-making in the budgeting process.

Income and Expenses

  • Become aware of why budgeting is important in effective money management.
  • Learn how to track income and expenses.
  • Understand the difference between fixed and flexible expenses.

Spending Plan

  • Learn how to set up a realistic spending plan using income and expense amounts.
  • Learn how to revise spending plan to balance expenses to income.
  • Identify ways to spend less, save money, and increase income.

What Is Credit?

  • Understand the uses of credit.
  • Know how much credit one can safely use.
  • Learn how to build a positive credit record.

Use Credit Wisely

  • Recognize the danger signals of credit overuse.
  • Learn how to access a credit report.
  • Know how a credit score impacts one's ability to obtain credit.

Debt Management

  • Learn the importance of taking charge of bills.
  • Learn how to prioritize bills and develop a plan for getting bills paid.
  • Identify strategies to control debt.

Saving

  • Realize the importance of saving to build a secure financial future.
  • Learn how money can grow over time.
  • Gain knowledge of ways to invest money to achieve financial goals.
  • Learn to recognize ways to minimize investment fraud.

Before you use the website with your students, read the text and work through the seven sections of the More for Your Money website. This will familiarize you with the background information, activities, and the information that the students will need to enter.

To begin, the students will need to login. Once they are logged in, they will work section by section with your assistance. As they enter information, the data will be saved and available each time they visit the site. Reassure them that the data is kept confidential.

As your students work through the website, discuss the information presented in that section. Talk about the kinds of information that they will be required to enter and what they will accomplish when completing the section.

Activities
Have them complete the activities online or print them and finish them by hand. Activities are identified by the dollar symbol. If completed online, the activity sheets can be printed, so that the students can keep them for future reference.

At the end of each section, review the information that was presented. Talk about the concepts that were presented and how they relate to the students' personal situations.

The website is designed to be an ongoing process. Stress the importance of keeping good records and using the information to develop realistic spending, debt management, credit, and saving plans. Emphasize that it takes time to develop good money management practices. For example, it will take at least two months to develop a realistic and useable spending plan.

When they finish each main section, have your students complete the "It's Time for a Review" feature.  It allows you, and them, an opportunity to check what they learned.

If you have questions while working through the sections, use the "Contact Us" feature. A University of Illinois Extension Consumer and Family Economics Educator will respond to you with an answer.