It's Your Paycheck! Online Module for Teachers and Students
It's Your Paycheck! is designed to introduce personal finance content. Participants learn about a variety of personal finance topics including the link between education and income, budgeting, the benefits of saving, and credit reports. These learning modules will help participants make sense of W-2s, W-4s, pay-day loans and APRs in an interactive online format. It's Your Paycheck! consists of nine individual programs that can be used together or individually to enhance personal finance learning.
- Visit the Econ Lowdown Teacher Portal to register your students for one or more of our online modules.
- Learn more about Econ Lowdown and watch a tutorial.
- Related: View this module in Spanish / vea este módulo en español.
Lesson 1: Invest in Yourself
Participants solve word puzzles with varying degrees of knowledge. They discover that more knowledge (human capital) leads to more productive outcomes. Participants identify ways in which people invest in human capital and the link between investment in human capital and earning income.
Lesson 2: "W" Is for Wages, W4 and W2
Participants compute the gross pay for a fictional character named John Dough given his hourly wage and the number of hours worked. They compare gross pay to net pay. They learn what FICA and federal income taxes are. They learn how to complete a W-4 form and what a W-2 form is.
Lesson 3: Cash the Check and Track the Dough
Participants take part in an activity to learn about checking accounts, savings accounts and check cashing services. Participants learn the components of a check, and they organize and enter information into an account register - in order to determine the balance. They learn why maintaining account records is important. They balance a monthly account statement.
Lesson 4: Your Budget Plan
Participants play "Beat the Financial Expert!," a game that illustrates positive and negative spending behaviors. They analyze the "Beat the Financial Expert!" results, identify effective and ineffective budgeting behaviors and create a budget from a transaction history.
Lesson 5: Savvy Savers
Participants calculate compound interest to identify benefits of saving in interest-bearing accounts. They learn the "rule of 72" and apply it to both investments and debt. They learn that there is a relationship between the level of risk for an investment and the potential reward or return on that investment.
Lesson 6: Credit Reports - and You Thought Your Report Card Was Important
Participants learn about both the advantages and disadvantages of using credit. They read a scenario about a young person's use of a credit card and answer questions regarding repayment. They learn about credit history, credit reports and credit-reporting agencies.
Lesson 7: Creditors' Criteria and Borrowers' Rights and Responsibilities
Participants discuss key terms related to credit and learn how creditors use capacity, character and collateral as criteria for making loans. They learn about credit rights and responsibilities and identify the rights and responsibilities of using credit.
Lesson 8: So How Much Are You Really Paying for that Loan?
Participants learn what a payday loan is and the high cost involved in using such a loan. They calculate an annual percentage rate (APR) on a short-term loan and see why comparing loans using APR is more informative than simply by comparing interest rates.
Lesson 9: To Rent-to-Own or Not to Rent-to-Own?
Participants review the elements of a contract. They discuss the characteristics of rent-to-own contracts and compare the cost of those contracts with the outright purchase of goods.
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