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Course 1: Personal Finance • Back To All Pages »

Personal Finance Syllabus

Personal Finance, Room ________

Haverford Senior High School

2006-07 Syllabus and Course Guidelines

Mrs. McCarty                         

610-853-5900 x 2799

Teacher Website:

High School Website:


Course Description: ( .5 credit elective)


Personal Finance is a course designed to help teach students how to make the proper financial decisions by studying how to plan for personal finances, banking and credit, investing financial resources and protecting their finances.  Students will develop financial literacy through integrated academics, real-world examples, and practical advice.  By learning how to make informed decisions related to spending, saving, borrowing, and investing, the students will learn how to build a solid foundation for their financial security now and in the future.


This class will be accessing the following website for many of our lessons and projects:   This site is sponsored by The National Endowment for Financial Education.


Personal Finance classes will involve a strong emphasis on:

  • The use of current information technology, including use of computers and the Internet for professional and research applications. The students will be utilizing the Internet when necessary to reinforce learning.

  • The development of a broader set of student skills including:

    • written and oral communication

    • interpersonal skills, including working in teams

    • analytical and critical thinking skills, including working on cases and projects involving real-world situations



  1. Portfolio of Work kept throughout the course of the semester – Students will have tangible evidence of their progress and achievements, ranging from worksheets to projects


    1. Students are expected to maintain a folder with all work organized by chapter / Strongly suggest a 3-ring binder


  1. Homework / Classwork Grades

  2. Regularly Scheduled Quizzes

  3. Regularly Scheduled Tests







** Tests and Quizzes can either be written or computer-based**

Percentage Grade           Course Grade

93 to 100                                 A

85 to 92                                   B

77 to 84                                   C

70  to 76                                  D

0 to 69                                     F                


Course Materials Needed:

q       Course Text and Workbook  (provided) – text must be covered

q       Marketing Plan Guide (provided)      

q       Copybook  OR 3-ring binder with notepaper

q       Folder  (there will be hand-outs / worksheets daily)


Class Rules and Expectations:

q       When class starts, you should be in your seats and attentive.  Be on time.

q       Be prepared for class – Have all materials, individual folder, and be focused

q       Listen Respectfully.

q       Make-Up Work – Assignments may only be made up if absences are excused.  Late work will not receive full credit.  PC's are available in the after-school lab and in the mezzanine of the Library.

q       No CD's, disks, Walkman, or headphone permitted in class.

q       Copying of files or assignments, Violations of computer security or the Internet Acceptable Use Policy of the District, or Destruction or Theft of school property will be referred to the administration in accordance with district discipline policies and procedures.


Consequences for Violations:  (Includes but, not limited to:)

q       Zero credit for assignment(s)

q       Verbal reminder / request for cooperation

q       Call to parent/guardian

q       Teacher detention

q       Referral to House Principal/Administration


If you need assistance or have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me via email or telephone.  Before and after school arrangements can be made for enrichment exercises of current lessons. 

Personal Finance Outline

Welcome to Personal Finance:

Day One:

  1. Class List
  2. Logging in to Network
  3. Saving to Network 
  4. Acceptable Use Policy
  5. Fire Alarm Rules
  6. Plaigarism Rules.

Middle States Goals:
Students will improve their performance on Standards 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3: Comprehension, Reading Skills, and Reading, Analyzing and Interpreting literature.

Students will improve their performance on Standard 2.5: Mathmetical Reasoning and Communication.

Building Climate Goal
Improve the sense of ownership of school climate and school pride (administrators, teachers, support staff, students and parents), regarding self, other people, property, school and community.
Student Examples:

Why Study Personal Finance?

Why Study Personal Finance?

Money is Everywhere
Poor Public Knowledge Read "Keying in Article".
Career Paths.
Education Pays:

What will we study?

Financial Planning
Setting Goals
Managing Debt - Credit Cards, Student Loans etc.
Buying a Car
Buying a house
Saving and Investing.

Cover Online Resources
Create Personal Finance Folder...Create word doc contaning table (3 column 20 rows).
Everyday at start of class insert income and expenses.

Intro Jumpstart Quiz
Jumpstart Quiz
Peer Grading and Discussion.

Inquirer Quiz (Photocopy)
Peer Grading and Further Discussion.


Dreams - Goals + Plans.

Bank Savings:
Bank Checking:
FDIC insured deposits:
Check books:
Writing Checks:
Account Balance:


Its good to have can be fun and positive, but don't be a day dreamer.

Goals make dreams become a reality:


Reasonable / Attainable


Associated Time Frame 

  • Short Term        1 year or less
  • Medium Term    1 to 5 years
  • Long Term         5 years +

Create and Activate Financial Plans
Monitor, Evaluate and Revise Plans

Plans will help us achieve our goals.
Medium Term Goal - Buy a Car.  Plan - Get a job and save.
Medium Term Goal - Go to college. Plan - Concentrate on Academics
Employment Statistics
Read the above article and answer questions on the "Gear Up" worksheet.

The business and financial environment is constantly changing so our plans need to be monitored and maybe revised to compensate for changing economic and personal circumstances.

  • Net Worth Report
    What is a net worth report?
    Why create a net worth report?
  • Students will create a personal Net Worth Report
    Students will complete a practice Net Worth Report for "a graduate".
    Net Worth Quiz.
  • Video Friday - Oprah Winfrey Personal Finance Episode.

The World's Richest People:



What is a budget ?
Why budget? 

Go to the my homepage:
Complete the "Budgeting Essay" worksheet using the following website as a guide.

Watch the following video - "Saving here and Now" in the "Economic Education" category at this website:
Define Discretionary and Non-Discretionary expenses and how we can balance our budget. That is increase income or decrease expenses.

Complete the "Budgeting Exercise" worksheet for a "graduate student."

Complete March 2005 Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition reading, and play "National Budget/Deficit" Game from

Quiz on everything learned so far.

Financing a Car.

Hello everyone:  Today we are going to start by completing the Budgeting Quiz. Buying a Car:
Have a look at: - pick a car.

Everyone in class will buy a car at some point in their lives, so we want to make sure we don't pay too much. Because of the way the car industry works two people could buy the exact same car on the same day and pay different prices; sometimes people can pay between $2,500 and $10,000 too much. To get us started use this website:
Answer the following 5 questions, remember to include the question in your answer.

  1. Give one good reason why we should plan to negotiate on price when buying a new or used car.
  2. The guy selling you the car is called a "car dealer". He might quote you an "invoice price" from the manufacturer (Ford, BMW, Toyota etc), is that the real price the dealer pays for the car? Explain.
  3. What is the difference between the base price and the MSRP?
  4. What does ADM and ADP stand for?
  5. When financing a car, getting the best deal ultimately depends on three factors, what are they?
  6. What does APR stand for?

When people buy cars they usually do not have $20, 000 or $30,000 to pay there and then .So we are allowed to put down 20% or 30% and "finance" the rest over a 2 to 5 year period. This means we make monthly payments until the price of the car is paid off. The dealers charge us an interest rate on the loan (APR) as a charge for lending us money. In effect you are buying a car and a financial product (the loan - car financing). 
Now read the following article and answer the following questions:
Vehicle Financing:

  1. Name two places, other than the car dealer, where we can get a loan to buy the car.
  2. Give two reasons why we might get the loan from the car dealers finance office.
  3. Name two things that effect the APR you will be charged.
3 Years (36 Months)
5 Years (60 Months)

Amount Financed



Contract Rate (APR)



Finance Charges

Monthly Payment Amount

Total Payments

Down Payment



The APR can greatly effect the final price you pay for your car. The lower the APR the better.  That is one of the reasons we want to have good credit because good credit can result in lower APR on loans.

Complete the "Car Financing" worksheet:

From completing the work sheet you will hopefully have seen that the APR and the length of time you take to repay the loan can greatly effect the price you end up actually paying for a car. Even though the "sale" price is marked at $15,000 you could pay a lot more if you do not shop around for a loan at the lowest APR you can possibly find. Banks, credit unions etc are good places to look for a low rate.

Complete the "Buying a Car" worksheet.

Other Considerations / Expenses:
Gas, Maintenance (Tyres, Oil), Registration, Inspection.

Buing a Car vs. Leasing:

Car Financing Quiz

Insurance Needs:


Car Insurance:
Go To:
Complete the buying "Car Insurance" worksheet.
Read the following article to learn more about discounts.

Life Insurance: 
Term and Whole
Go to this website:
Complete the "Life Insurance" worksheet.

Health Insurance:
Read this article:
Read the February 2006 Health Insurance article in the Wall Street Journal classroom edition (page 6).
Students will be given a Health Insurance "Pop Quiz" on Tuesday.

Home Owners / Renters Insurance:

Buying a Home:

Basics of Buying a House

Home Buyers Information Center:

Read through the pages on this link today.  It's all about buying a house which is probably the most expensive thing most of us will do in life.

Working in groups of two students are to complete the "Mortgages" worksheet.

Class discussion of strategies.

Buying a Home Quiz.

Credit Card Debt:

Managing Debt:

Credit Cards:

Watch this video in the "Economic Education" section:

Read the following article with students and discuss:

Consumer Credit Activity:

Credit Reports:
Answer "Consumer Debt in US" worksheet.

Car Loan
Student Loan



Read the following article:


Discuss Lending and Ownership Investments:

Read the "Power of Investing" article and complete the worksheet.

Distribute and discuss the Risk and Return handout.

Discuss and distribute the "Rule of 72" worksheet.

Go to: and fill in the accompanying "Stock Evaluation" form.

Buy the stocks at:

Final Exam

Final Exam:

Salary Schedule -

Salary Schedule

The median expected salary for a typical Financial Analyst I in Brookline, PA 19083, is $47,928. This basic market pricing report was prepared using our Certified Compensation Professionals' analysis of survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at employers of all sizes, industries and geographies.

Financial Analyst I:

Compiles and analyzes financial information for an organization. Develops integrated revenue/expense analyses, projections, reports, and presentations. Creates and analyzes monthly, quarterly, and annual reports and ensures financial information has been recorded accurately. Identifies trends and developments in competitive environments and presents findings to senior management. Performs financial forecasting and reconciliation of internal accounts. Requires a bachelor's degree and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Works under immediate supervision. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.

Financial Analyst I 25th%ile Median 75th%ile
Brookline, PA 19083 $42,553 $47,928 $53,862
IMPORTANT: Your pay can be dramatically affected by compensable factors such as employer size, industry, employee credentials, years of experience and others.

Teacher Resources:

Teacher Resources:

Commerce Bank:

Useful Personal Finance Online Resources: