Tag Archives: goals

My Personal Finance Curriculum

There was a really interesting article in the New York Times last weekend about having courses on personal finance for kids in K-12. I think that this is definitely something schools should look into, even if it is not tested. Out of all the courses one takes in primary and secondary schools, a practical course like personal finance can really do some good – especially today.

I never took a formal personal course when I was in school; it wasn’t offered. The closest we came to it was when I was in seventh grade and I was in a “Home and Careers” class. It wasn’t really heavy on the economics; it was more about how to cook basic meals, sew, and the like. We had a unit on caring for a family. We were paired off into husbands and wives, and we had to care for a fake egg. The fake egg was a baby, and we were randomly chosen to have particular careers in different locations, salaries, etc. We had to budget for our home and raise the egg, er, I mean child.

I think I passed, but it didn’t really teach me much about personal finance. We all would fudge the numbers and concoct dream scenarios to ensure we would have enough money to survive. The real world doesn’t let one concoct dream scenarios. It has a penchant to just slap you in the face.

With that said, I gave some thought as to what kind of personal finance course I think would do a great deal of good. Check out this site for actual assignments and courses one organization, the National Endowment for Financial Education, put together for schools that want to take the plunge into personal finance courses.

After the jump, check out my personal finance curriculum.

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Four Personal Finance Stories to Ponder

Apologies for the really long absence, but with the Easter holiday, going home to Wallkill several times in the past month, and a crazy period at work, I haven’t had much time to update anything worth substance.

In the past week, there have been several fantastic personal finance-related stories in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

No, none of these have anything to do with income taxes. Do make sure you file by April 15th, though, or else the big bad taxman just may come after you.

If you have the time this weekend, definitely peruse these not-so-long stories. I’ll give a quick summary and my thoughts on each one after the jump.

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Simple Saving Tricks

I read a really interesting article recently on Kiplinger.com about 10 easy ways, or “tricks”, to make yourself save a portion of your hard-earned money. While saving is a fundamentally important pillar for any worthwhile personal finance plan — and this week is America Saves Week — I think it’s important to go back over some of the easy ways those who have trouble with discipline can ensure they are stashing away part of their money for savings.

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Epiphany Revisited

Hard to believe, but it’s been a year already since I had what I thought was my lowest financial point and subsequent epiphany moment. To sum it up, I just found out that I was going to have at least one furlough (unpaid) day per month, my rent was going up, and because I had this very tight view of money — I was going to stop all of my plans.

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January Net Worth

I’m starting the New Year strong — after posting approximately a 5 percent increase in my net worth last month, I continued to make gains in January.

On to the numbers …

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Daily Dimes 12/18/09

I focus quite a bit on doing more with a little bit of money, but what if you actually came across a large sum of cash? An inheritance, lottery winnings, etc.

I read somewhere that lottery winners are increasingly finding themselves filing for bankruptcy — it’s because they don’t plan on just how they’re going to use that lump sum. If you so happen to be lucky enough (of course, lucky is relative, especially if you received an inheritance after a loved one passed away) to come across a financial windfall, would you know what to do?
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Daily Dimes 12/3/09

With the year quickly coming to a close, it may be time to begin rethinking some of the personal finance decisions you have made and figure out if it is still the proper course for you or not.

For example, is there a pesky credit card balance you have that you’ve only been paying the minimum amount on for the past several months? Miscellaneous expenses you know you could do without, yet spend money on anyway? Been paying too much interest on a loan or mortgage that you know you could most likely refinance? Did you buy a stock that you thought was going to fly high, and it hasn’t even gotten off the ground? Now is the time to ponder these thoughts and make action plans for 2010.
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