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Financial Literacy For Teens


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Financial literacy is a key component in preparing students for their adult life. If students have control over their money and can budget for real-life situations they are more likely to lead happier and more successful lives.

“As educators we are constantly challenged with bringing the mathematics curriculum to life. These modules fill the gap with real life examples directly relating to students experiences. I highly recommend you giving it a go.” Andrew Watson, Director of Numeracy, Frankston High School.

Here, educators will find everything they need to teach a class on financial literacy to high school students. The five Financial Literacy modules include teaching guides and worksheets, are free to download and ready to use.


 

WHY FOCUS ON YOUTH FINANCIAL LITERACY?

Young adults often have limited knowledge of the full financial costs of decisions they make.

Additionally, if parents were not taught the importance of good credit or responsible spending practices, students may be exposed to poor examples of personal economics, such as taking short-term loans or using a Pawn Broker as a way of dealing with challenging bills.

Many early school leavers lack the basic skills, knowledge and networks they need to take a positive pathway and gain well paid, meaningful employment.

However, when students learn to manage their money and budget for real-life situations they become more goal-oriented and focussed on future planning.

 

WHAT WE’RE DOING

One of the greatest challenges in making financial literacy interesting to high school students is their limited life experience.

The Financial Literacy Program uses practical, everyday examples to bring concepts to life, preparing students financially for life after high school.

United Way Australia partnered with ING DIRECT to create a free online teacher resource that is aligned with the Australian high school curriculum.

Aims of the Financial Literacy program:

  • Give students the tools to gain the confidence and knowledge they need to take control of their money and budget for everyday situations
  • Tie lessons into real-world concepts to enhance meaning and context
  • Use student-centred activities, research projects, discussion points, tools and resources to engage students
  • Teach young people the decisions they make today will impact their financial future
  • Build the wellbeing of students by helping them to aspire to meaningful lives, and show realistic pathways to reaching their goals.

The Financial Literacy program can be taught in its entirety, or as 5 individual modules:

 

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GETTING YOURSELF ON THE ROAD

Students learn how to overcome geographic isolation and limited transport opportunities by saving regularly and using their savings to purchase their own transportation. Read more

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PAYING THE BILLS

Students learn strategies for dealing with challenging bills and the high costs involved in short term loans.Read more

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WHAT DOES IT COST TO LEAVE HOME?

Students learn budgeting in a real-world context by looking at the costs of moving out of home into shared rental accommodation. They work together to research the monthly costs of their future lives. Read more

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THE REAL COST OF A PERFORMANCE CAR

Students learn the total cost of purchasing an expensive item such as a car and discover how the value of the product lessens over time.  Read more

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PLANNING YOUR CAREER

Students are shown that it is possible for them to attend university, pursue a professional career and achieve a different lifestyle through careful financial planning. Read more

 

 

WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING

Since doing the program at our school, I feel a lot more confident about saving up money. And I feel more secure about my financial future. Joseph

The financial literacy program is easy to relate to, we’ve used heaps of scenarios that we will use in our lives, things like paying electricity bills, late fees, and interest. Once you move out of home you’ll definitely need this knowledge to build your life. Lachlan

The financial literacy program has taught me how to save for things like a house and a car. I do have a part-time job and doing this program has really encouraged me to save a lot more money. Abbey

 

WHAT TEACHERS ARE SAYING

“The biggest change we’ve found in our students is their willingness to engage in discussion with the classroom teacher. It’s been very obvious through teaching this topic that students are genuinely interested in the material. As educators we are constantly challenged with bringing the mathematics curriculum to life. These modules fill the gap with real life examples directly relating to students experiences. I highly recommend you giving it a go.”  Andrew Watson, Director of Numeracy, Frankston High School

 

TO FIND OUT MORE

For further information on this program, please email info@unitedway.com.au or call 02 9321 0305.

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United Way Australia acknowledges the original author Sue Thomson. This material was created with funding from ING DIRECT.*Not legal or financial advice. The information and materials in this module have been provided by United Way Australia to assist your financial literacy training. It is not and should not be regarded as legal or financial advice.
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