JA Financial Literacy


JA Financial Literacy<sup>™</sup>

JA Financial Literacy, part of the JA High School Experience courses, is a one-semester teacher-led course that equips high school students with foundational personal finance skills. These concepts include how to earn and save money; how to manage money by being a wise consumer and creating and using a budget; how to manage bank accounts, investments, and credit; how to assess risks and use insurance; and how to address financial problems like identity theft and debt. Volunteers engage with students through a variety of activities that includes subject matter guest speaking and coaching or advising for case study and project course work. 

 

Students will:

  • Learn the necessary concepts applicable to state and national educational standards.

  • Apply these standards-based concepts to the real world.

  • Synthesize elective concepts through cumulative, tangible deliverables (projects).

  • Analyze a business situation or principle through the use of a case study.

  • Demonstrate the skills necessary for future career pathway success.

 

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based High School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Account statements, Bankruptcy, Bonds, Budget, Career fields and requirements, Cash flow, Claims, College cost and requirements, College debt, Consumer responsibilities, Coverage, Credit, Credit counselors, Credit history, Credit laws, Credit report, Credit score, Debit cards, Debt management, Deductible, Employee benefits, Estate planning, Expenses, Financial accounts, Financial goals, Financial history, Financial institutions, Financial planning, Five Cs of credit, Gross Pay, Identity theft, Income, Inflation, Insurance, Insurance premiums, Installment loans, Interest, Investment, IRAs and 401(k)s, Liquidity, Loans, Longevity, Mutual funds, Medicare, Money, Needs and wants, Net pay, Net worth, Opportunity cost, Payment, Personal finance goals, Rate of return, Revolving credit, Retirement Taxes, Return on Investment, Saving, Stock, The rule of 72, Transaction registers Analyze sources of information, Assess personal strengths and skills, Build a financial plan, Calculate net worth, Calculate payroll based on deductions, Calculate simple and compound interest, Choose a career, Complete research, Contrast and compare options, Create a budget, Evaluate cash flow, Evaluate choices, Evaluate risk, Identify sources of income, Interpret data, Interpret a paycheck, Make decisions, Maintain account balances, Mitigate risk, Plan for the future, Plan for taxes, Protect credit, Review consequences, Self-analyze finances, Set goals, Understand stock quotes

Program Sessions

1.1 The Basics of Earning

THEME 1: EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

1.1 The Basics of Earning

Income is money that an individual earns by working, making investments, and providing goods and services. Money functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store of value. Any item used as money takes on those three essential functions.

 

Students will:

  • Describe the functions of money.

  • Evaluate personal requirements for income.

  • Analyze how and where to earn money.

  • Design a brochure with possibilities for earning.

1.2 Careers and Pay

THEME 1: EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

1.2 Careers and Pay

Individuals who set realistic financial goals are in more control of their money than those who do not. Although goals are set for short- and long-term periods, it is important to regularly track the progress of each goal.
 

Students will:

  • Analyze and prioritize personal financial goals (current, 10-year, 25-year).
  • Explain the relationship between finances, career choices, and personal financial goals.
  • Identify career fields or options of interest that will lead to financial goals.

1.3 Education and Careers

THEME 1: EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

1.3 Education and Careers

An investment in a career requires time, money, and resources that can open doors to opportunities. Studies show that employees with more than a high school education earn significantly more money throughout their lifetime than those without. The emphasis in this session is that the more education you have, the higher quality of life you will have.

 

Students will:

  • Examine the cost of college.
  • Evaluate the costs and/or benefits of post-secondary education (trade school, apprenticeships, etc.).
  • Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of various postsecondary educational options.
  • Evaluate personal decisions relating to career choice and education requirements and plans.
  • Assess personal skills, abilities, and aptitudes and personal strengths and weaknesses as they relate to career exploration and development.
 

1.4 Taxes and Benefits

THEME 1: EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME

1.4 Taxes and Benefits

Taxes are collected by governments to pay for many public services such as highways, schools, police, and fire protection. The main goal of taxation is to provide revenue for a government to pay its bills. The two taxes most people pay are federal and state income taxes. Federal income tax goes to the U.S. government, and state income tax is paid to the state government. Income may also be offset by tax-free benefit packages provided by an employer.
 

Students will:

  • Identify the difference between gross pay and net pay.
  • Define taxes and explain their purpose and impact on income.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of various taxes such as FICA and Medicare.
  • Calculate net monthly income.
  • Recognize employee benefits and apply knowledge to job opportunities.

2.1 Financial Institutions

THEME 2: MONEY MANAGEMENT

2.1 Financial Institutions

Consumers use financial institutions to help them save and complete transactions safely, quickly, and conveniently and to hold and transfer money in different ways—all while being insured and safe from theft. It is important, therefore, to find a financial institution that meets your needs.

 

Students will:

  • Compare financial institutions and the types of accounts and services they provide.
  • Investigate the use of different payment methods.

2.2 Spending and Saving

THEME 2: MONEY MANAGEMENT

2.2 Spending and Saving

Many competing claims are made on a person's money that impede the ability to save. By prioritizing saving, consumers will be able to achieve short-and long-term goals and set aside money for emergencies and the future.
 
 

Students will:

  • Recognize the importance of paying yourself first.
  • Identify the opportunity costs of savings.
  • Compare simple and compound interest and their impact on savings, including the Rule of 72.

2.3 Think Before You Spend

THEME 2: MONEY MANAGEMENT

2.3 Think Before You Spend

Every individual is responsible for keeping track of his or her own money. Using a transaction register and careful consumer practices and staying informed all help in maintaining a positive cash flow and increasing net worth.
 

Students will:

  • Record purchases in a transaction register.
  • Determine which practices demonstrate careful consumer skills.
  • Apply consumer skills to spending and saving decisions.

2.4 What Is a Budget?

THEME 2: MONEY MANAGEMENT

2.4 What Is a Budget?

Examining and monitoring cash flow is an ongoing and critical step in the budgeting process. Having and using a budget, and knowing the types of categories in a budget, helps people maintain positive cash flow.

 

Students will:

  • Explain cash flow.
  • Follow a step-by-step guide for creating a budget.
  • Identify a short-term financial goal.
  • Arrange income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses in appropriate columns to be equal.

3.1 What Is Credit?

THEME 3: CREDIT, DEBT, AND KEEPING YOUR FINANCES SAFE

3.1 What Is Credit?

Credit is the amount of money a borrower receives and agrees to pay back with interest to the lender. The lender relies on a report of the borrower's credit history to determine whether to extend a loan. The report includes a record of the borrower's ability to repay debt.
 

Students will:

  • Explain the concept of credit.
  • Distinguish the pros and cons of credit.
  • Develop techniques for building a strong credit history.
  • Summarize major consumer credit laws.

3.2 Types of Credit

THEME 3: CREDIT, DEBT, AND KEEPING YOUR FINANCES SAFE

3.2 Types of Credit

Building a strong credit history requires using credit wisely. Credit cards, loans, and nontraditional credit options, such as rent-to-own plans and payday loans, are expensive ways to manage money. Often the results of poor credit choices will require debt management plans and credit counseling.
 

Students will:

  • Explain the types and sources of credit.
  • Compute interest amounts on a loan.
  • Develop an action plan for fixing bad credit.

3.3 Protect Your Credit

THEME 3: CREDIT, DEBT, AND KEEPING YOUR FINANCES SAFE

3.3 Protect Your Credit

Lenders evaluate a person's credit worthiness based on the Five C's—capacity, capital, conditions, collateral, and character—as well as the person's credit report and credit score. Maintaining good credit is pivotal in acquiring future credit. Consumers need to monitor their credit accounts and reports and keep their personal and financial information safe to maintain their good credit.

 

Students will:

  • Explain the impact credit scores and credit reports have on obtaining credit.
  • Evaluate the process of the Five C's of credit.
  • Explain what a credit score indicates and how it affects a person's financial history.
  • Identify strategies for protecting personal financial information and resources.

3.4 Debt Management

THEME 3: CREDIT, DEBT, AND KEEPING YOUR FINANCES SAFE

3.4 Debt Management

Repaying debt is a legal and ethical matter. People who run into financial trouble can often improve their financial situation with some effort. When consumers are not able to manage debt on their own, they can work with a credit counselor to develop a debt management plan. Bankruptcy is a legal action used to remove the debts of businesses and individuals who are unable to pay their bills, but it has severe credit consequences.
 
 

Students will:

  • Compare and contrast debt management plans.
  • Examine two types of bankruptcy: Chapter 7 and Chapter 13.
  • Explain why bankruptcy might not be the best choice in a given situation.
  • Interpret complex data and analyze the services of DMP agencies and whether to file bankruptcy in a given situation.

4.1 Investing Versus Saving

THEME 4: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

4.1 Investing Versus Saving 

People save to have money to use in the future. People invest to increase the value of their money. Because a savings account is generally insured by the financial institution, it carries less risk but has a lower rate of return. Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are common investments which involve some risk, but investors are generally willing to accept more risk in exchange for higher returns.

 

Students will:

  • Differentiate between saving and investing.
  • Describe types of investment vehicles.
  • Compare the relationship of risks and rewards.
  • Create a pyramid of investments, placing them in a range from low risk to high risk.
  • Identify the risk-return tradeoffs for saving and investing.

4.2 Investing for the Long Term

THEME 4: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

4.2 Investing for the Long Term

Various types of risk should be considered when making retirement plans and investment decisions. Many types of investment plans, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, should be considered as well. It is never too early to think about financial planning. Planning should begin as soon as a person enters the workforce.
 
 

Students will:

  • Identify the key elements of financial planning.
  • Explain the risks associated with long-term financial planning.
  • Examine investment needs in different financial situations and explore long-term financial investments.
  • Apply risk criteria when choosing and developing a financial plan.

4.3 Risks and Responsibilities

THEME 4: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

4.3 Risks and Responsibilities

Risk is exposure to something potentially dangerous or harmful. It is important to recognize risks and learn how to manage or mitigate them. People purchase insurance to reduce the risk of loss and receive compensation for losses or damage caused by events beyond their control.

 

Students will:

  • Identify risks in life and how to protect against the consequences of risk.
  • Investigate categories of specific risks they may face.
  • Examine ways to mitigate those risks.
  • Calculate the probability of those risks occurring.

4.4 Types of Insurance

THEME 4: PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

4.4 Types of Insurance

Insurance coverage is provided in exchange for the payment of a premium. Five common types of insurance are homeowner's (and renter's) insurance, disability insurance, health insurance, life insurance, and automobile insurance. Some coverage, such as auto insurance, is required by law, while other coverage is optional. Consumers need to choose the right kind and amount of insurance during different stages in their lives.
 
 

Students will:

  • Define basic insurance terms.
  • Examine five types of insurance and the purpose of each.
  • Evaluate the coverage for each of the five types.
  • Create a portfolio with the types of insurance they imagine themselves purchasing within the next 10 years.

Case Study: Solving Problems and Managing Risk

Students examine a process for making decisions and managing risk. They consider a scenario in which a business owner must make a difficult decision. Students use a decision tree to analyze options and consequences and recommend a course of action.