Financial literacy is not always about money. It helps us make good decisions and empowers individuals to thrive.
Most of us think that personal financial literacy is about managing money effectively. This film shows how PFL is really about making decisions - good decisions - that enhance outcomes throughout life. This series shows how it is never to early to start making good decisions.
Think of the economy as a raging river. Are you a skilled water athlete or are you floating haphazardly in an inner tube. This powerful metaphor introduces the importance of personal financial literacy when navigating the raging waters of the economy.
The Man Who Lived Without Money is the story of Nathan, the last mountain man. He had no money, paid no bills, no credit cards. He lived outside of our modern economics system and survived by hunting, fishing, and bartering. His story illuminates the power and importance of finance.
Buying Goods and Services
Scarcity affects every decision we make and is one of the fundamental concepts in economics and finance.
Dr. Katie Sauer explains opportunity cost with a personal example in which she had to choose between careers as an economist or as a professional dancer.
In some decisions we weigh the total cost. In others we only consider the marginal cost. Air travel and college tuition provide two examples of marginal decisions.
Markets take many forms from places where people buy fruits and vegetables to online markets for goods and services. There are also markets for labor.
What is money? Why do we have faith that money is real but we're not sure if a diamond is fake? We travel to a remote island to explore the concept of money.
Supply and demand are tricky concepts. Grandma explains.
Dr Katie Sauer explores prices in a market and explains the Law of Supply.
Taxation - a brief look.
Human capital, entrepreneurship, labor markets and wages are the theme of this unit.
Perhaps the most important concept that even the youngest children can learn is that we create value through our labor. Our wage is that value which can be exchanged for the goods and services we desire.
What determines someone's income. This is explored while also explaining averages - the difference between mean, median, and mode - and how these different averages help us understand average incomes.
Within our economy there are many different jobs requiring different abilities, skills, and knowledge. There are three factors that affect how much we earn. One is what economists call human capital.
- Sometimes human capital is difficult to define. Entrepreneurs are risk takers who may or may not earn high incomes. Their human capital sometimes comes from the most unusual places. In this film a tech-startup reveals how game-play and hacking can form human capital
The value of human capital always comes with a cost. Becoming good at one thing means that time cannot be used to learn something else. Being good at teaching means you may have to forego a career as a hairdresser.
Building human capital comes with an opportunity cost. However, there are also benefits our society as well as ourselves.
Another factor that influences your income from working is the state of the economy. In good economic times, jobs are easier to come by, even without human capital. And in tough economic times, jobs are tougher to come by, even with human capital.
- There is a negative relationship between the quantity of labor demanded and the cost. The higher the cost the lower the quantity demanded. Many industries, including agriculture, are turning to robots to reduce labor costs.
- As the structure of the economy changes, so are the professions that are “in demand,” and those that are in decline.
Supply, demand, and the opportunity cost of building human capital are important concepts. Children can use these ideas to shape their dreams, make better choices, and empower themselves to become successful entrepreneurs, artist, farmers, musicians, teachers, astronauts, or whatever they choose in life.
Money moves through the economy in ways that affect our decision to save and ways to save.
Many people think that when you save money in the bank it stops. Actually, the bank puts that money back in circulation so it never stops moving. Amanda, a young entrepreneur discovers how other people use the money she' saved.
In the broadest sense of the definition, savings is what a person has left over after paying taxes and buying goods and services. The act of saving generally implies that an individual is storing their funds for future use.
Savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit explained.
Retail banks, savings banks, credit unions, commercial banks, and central banks.
Supply and Demand for funds affects the rate of interest that you're likely to receive on savings.
Saving is the engine of our modern financial system.Your savings are busy building bridges and schools, financing companies, helping people buy houses, facilitating trades and generally powering the economy.
Credit is an important tool and driver of prosperity.
Credit is more than just borrowing against future earnings. When used wisely, credit can actually increase our future earnings.
Credit has the power to lift people out of poverty. Nowhere is this more powerfully seen than in microloan programs run by NGOs in developing nations.
Starting a business is nearly impossible without credit. The founders of Orbotix began with a small loan from family and soon attracted the support of venture capitalists to create a robotic ball.
Credit, if used wisely, can create future opportunity. In this example credit allows an individual to purchase a home. Without credit this would have been impossible.
Farming is nearly impossible without credit. Farmers require capital equipment and operating loans to survive between seed planting and harvest. But with all credit there is risk.
How do banks and credit card companies know that if you borrow you will pay back? They don't. They rely on credit reporting agencies to assess the likelihood that you will repay your loan.
What is the opportunity cost of buying nice clothes with a credit card? You'll have to forego buying even more goods in the future.
The Federal Reserve is the US’s central bank and that their job is to adjust the amount of money in the economy and to oversee the banking system. One aspect of this job involves setting economy-wide interest rates.
How much risk are you willing to take? Investing risk varies with the type of investment and so does the potential return.
Understanding risk is essential to making good decisions and it's an important part of personal financial literacy. So, in order to make better decisions we need to understand just how bad we are at assessing risk.
We all participate in this financial system one way or another. If we have savings in a bank our money is active in the financial system. If we borrow money to buy a house, car, or through credit cards, we're making use of this system. This segment examines financial intermediaries and markets.
The price of a stock generally reflects the perception of a firm’s future profitability. There are three basic theories about the “perception” of future profitability.
- Fundamental Analysis
- Efficient Markets Hypothesis
- Market Irrationality
There are other ways to buy into companies. You could start your own company. In that case you'd own the whole thing.You can also invest in startup companies.
A brief introduction to investing in bonds.
Exploring ways to manage investing risks.
The more you know about our financial and economic systems the more confident you are in making choices about risk and return. Choice is what it's all about.
Protecting and Insuring
Insurance can protect against risk
Insurance can provide protection from some financial risks and compensation for some loss. A devastating fire in Boulder County consumed 176 homes leaving many families under-insured.
Katie Sauer explains different factors affecting insurance rates.
Insurance comes with an opportunity cost. Therefore, decisions to purchase insurance must be made carefully and thoughtfully.
There are many different types of life insurance. Term-life and permanent-life insurance are explained here.
Financial Literacy in the Classroom
Financial literacy is essential for everyone and learning starts in elementary school.
Elementary school teachers explain why personal financial literacy is probably the most exciting, interesting and empowering curriculum you'll ever teach.
Share your thoughts about this course and how it affected your teaching and learning experience.