Money is an essential part of our lives. We need it for necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation and medical services. We may also want it for the niceties of life such as entertainment, travel or technology. We must spend smartly in the short-term so we can save and invest for the longer-term.
- I can do an overall assessment of financial health and develop a personal action plan to meet goals.
- I have an overall framework for managing money.
Key Learning Points:
- Financial literacy is a life-long journey with many steps and phases. It takes discipline so take one step at a time.
- You must develop a financial management “framework” including risk tolerance, debt philosophy and financial goals.
- We are stewards of God’s gifts of time, talents and treasure. Read Stewards of God’s Gifts for a deeper look.
- Set short and long-term financial goals. Include things such as buying a new car and house, family vacations and retirement date.
- Develop a short and long-term budget. Use this to make real financial decisions. Grow your skill in budgeting.
- Jump to the other financial skill blocks such as Credit, Banking, Insurance, etc. for further steps to the Learning Path.
- Key Elements of Financial Health:
- Job and career. You need a skill that leads to sufficient lifetime income and satisfying career.
- Financial goals. Consider education, house, retirement and more. Some life goals also have financial impacts.
- Budgeting (cash flow plan). You must plan where your money goes, short-term and long-term.
- Spending and saving. Be a good shopper, spender and saver.
- Credit and debt management. Avoid debt. Pay bills on time. Check your credit report regularly.
- Banking. Use checking to pay bills. Use savings accounts for emergency fund and upcoming periodic expenses.
- Insurance. Have the necessary auto, home/renters and life insurance to cover catastrophic problems.
- Taxes. Don’t pay more than required.
- Investing. Long-term savings should be invested. Investments should not be touched for 5-10 years.
- A Money Management Approach: Source: Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.
- Initial Emergency Fund. Have $500-1000 to cover unexpected expenses.
- Debt Snowball. Payoff all debt starting with the smallest.
- Full Emergency Fund. Have 3-6 months of expenses in savings to cover potential job loss.
- Invest 15% to allow you to retire.
- College Fund. Help your kids get ahead.
- Build Wealth and Give.
Exercises for Older Teens and Adults:
- Using the Financial Health Assessment Tool (below), list 2-3 things you would like to accomplish over the next 1-2 months to improve your overall financial health. This is your personal action plan to help you meet your skill goals.
- See Connecting Your Money with Your Life in the Presentations section.
Exercises for Younger Teens (13-16):
- Older teens can use the above exercises.
Questions to Encourage Critical Thinking:
- What are my life goals and what are the financial requirements to support them?
- How can I create personal discipline to save 15% or more of all my earnings?
- How do I feel about debt and the use of credit cards? Why?
Tools and Templates:
- Framework – Underlying set of ideas: a set of ideas, principles, agreements, or rules that provides the basis or outline for something intended to be more fully developed at a later stage. Source: Bing Dictionary
- Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turn it into more) and how that person donates it to help others. Source: Wikipedia
- None at this time.
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
- The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom and/or The Money Class by Suze Orman
- Financial Peace University is a 9 week video curriculum presented by Dave Ramsey. It is presented at many local churches with a cost of about $100.
- Introduction to Financial Literacy 101 on You Tube. This video is best suited to teens.
- No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. – Matthew 6:24
- “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? – Luke 14:28
- “A penny saved is a penny earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
- “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” – Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, 1849
- “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.” — Will Rogers
Summary 2-page Lesson Examples:
- Money Management – Overview. Coming soon.
- Connecting Your Money with Your Life. This is a “Jeopardy”-type game that takes about an hour to “play”.