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Personal Finance 101

Financial Literacy Basics

This program takes a cognitive behavioral approach to financial literacy through 4 lessons, which meet Jumpstart Coalition and Common Core Math Standards.

Lesson 1: Your Financial Blueprint

Students will create a financial plan (aka budget) that will allow them to identify and organize their finances. They will breakdown the different components of a budget, or as we call it, a Blueprint. They will examine their spending, and determine which expenditures are fixed, variable, and discretionary. Students will also learn how income is affected by taxes. Students will connect ‘Signature Strengths’ (outlined in the Financial Decision Making Using Your Strengths course) to financial behavior that will help them realize their goals. These signature strengths will be applied to student budgeting decisions as well as to their understanding of income, banking, and taxes.

Lesson 2: Investing

Students learn why it is important to invest, or grow their money, in order to meet their financial goals. Students will also learn about the different types of investments and different ways to grow their money. We also discuss gender differences in investing and have them examine how other ‘money scripting,’ due to factors such as ethnicity or race, may be playing out in their attitudes about investing. Students analyze sample investment portfolios and will learn how to make investment plans for different times in their lives.

Lesson 3: The 411 on Credit and Debt

Students learn about debt and credit. In addition to learning the basics: Credit, credit history, credit reports, how credit cards work, etc., they also learn how their credit history impacts their ability to get a job and own a home. Students will gain an understanding of the ‘true cost’ of debt, and develop strategies for maintaining healthy debt levels and credit histories. We also discuss the difference between ‘good debt’ and ‘bad debt, in other words, which debt can help them achieve their financial goals and which will be a hindrance.

Lesson 4: Insurance

Winning Play$ discusses insurance as a form a risk-management. Students examine how insurance can help protect their financial and physical well-being and help ensure that they meet their financial goals. They learn the different types of insurance, and how to “shop around” for the best policies. Students will also gain skills to help them read insurance claims and inquire and advocate for better coverage. They will be educated and empowered to make good decisions and optimize “pay outs” from insurance companies.


Your Instructor


Stacey Tisdale
Stacey Tisdale
  • Financial journalist and expert for PBS Newshour Weekend, Today Show, Huffington Post, CNN, CNNI, CBS, and Headline New.
  • Author of The True Cost of Happiness: The Real Story Behind Managing Your Money. Writer, Dow Jones & Co., Wall Street Journal Television.
  • Winner, U.S Department of Ed Excellence in Financial Education award.
  • Advisory Committee Member for the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair for Media, Culture, and Feminist studies at Rutgers University

Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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