Teaching consumer math is a passion of mine. It breaks my heart when young people are taken advantage of financially, whether it's from accepting a high interest rate on a car loan or misunderstanding a credit card's minimum payment. It's important for students to understand personal finance at a young age.
Here's a recent image compiled from a nearby Honda dealership's "build my deal" feature. I typed in a $5000 down payment for each but a 787 credit score in the image on the left and a 507 credit score in the image on the right. This represents two people needing new cars.
The person on the left with the 787 credit score has a smaller monthly payment with the option to lease. The person with the 507 credit score has a higher monthly payment with no option to lease. How did the person on the right end up with a low credit score?
What does a credit score mean and where does it come from? What are some ways to improve this score? What is the difference between a debit and credit card? How do I get my tax return? How much of my paycheck will be taken out in taxes? Was I paid for the hours I worked last week? Can I afford a car?
I got A TON of questions just like these while teaching high school consumer math. Many of the questions were about things I assumed my students would already know. But how would they know? My students were seniors and worried about life after high school. Understandable! Because the textbook we had for the class didn't answer their questions, I ended up building the course myself from resources found all over the internet.
Becoming more financial literate is empowering. Empowering young people to understand their finances is extremely important to me. After years of milling over the best way to build a printable curriculum, I am SO EXCITED to say that I am currently working on a consumer math curriculum. It will be available for download here in Summer 2022.
The curriculum I am building is the curriculum I needed while teaching consumer math. It will consist of a printable book, accompanying student note pages, editable quizzes and answer keys. Topics covered in depth include:
Wants vs. needs
Checks and registers
Wages and salary
Electronic banking - ATM, debit and credit cards
Discounts and coupons
Tax and tips
Car loans, mortgages, student loans
Retirement planning and Investing
This consumer math curriculum will be a comprehensive and approachable guide for high school seniors. As I work though building the curriculum, the above list may grow.