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Putting the Math in the Consumer

As teachers, one issue we face is the need to have our students experience quality mathematics and become powerful as problem-solvers. Yet, our students must also become financially competent as future consumers. Unfortunately, these two areas often do not overlap...and the important aspects of financial mathematics are reserved for those students who have trouble with the standard math curriculum.

To everyone's rescue (teachers and students!), the National Endowment for Financial Education offers the special portal known as the High School Financial Planning Program. Their overall claim: "For over twenty-five years, this award-winning, free, non-commercial financial education program has been provided to millions of students in thousands of schools throughout the country."

More specifically, the NEFE portal offers a special section for students (a 7-unit course, articles, and a game), a special section for parents (tools, articles, advice), and a special section for teachers (you will need to register).

A good place to start is their video overview (use link on home page). And, the most important part is the course for students, which is designed to help them:

  • Create their own financial plan
  • Create their own budget
  • Propose a personal saving and investing plan
  • Select strategies to use in handling credit and managing their debt
  • Demonstrate how to use various financial services
  • Create a personal insurance plan
  • Examine how their choice of career and lifestyle will affect their financial plan
Wish I had access to this information when I went through high school...it could have been included along with the other "abstract" mathematics I was learning. And, I could perhaps be financially independent and retired by now!