Money management and financial literacy are often overlooked topics in classrooms around the world. Some students get to learn about money in math class, while other students have the opportunity to take an economics class, but far too many students leave school unprepared for money management. The new financial literacy curriculum from PenPal Schools helps students to set short and long-term savings goals while designing budgets with their peers around the world.
Today, we’re excited to share a project based learning example from our math curriculum and celebrate PenPal Star Ally from Washington, USA. She recently participated in Financial Literacy & Money Management and learned “when people save their money, good things come out of that and you will be better off saving money or spending it on very important things.” She was recognized as a PenPal Star for her writing, and she did a great job of citing evidence from the lesson in her responses!
Share five examples of goods and services that you or your family recently purchased? Explain whether each example is a “want” or a “need?”
"5 examples of goods and services that my family recently purchased are clothing, food from the grocery store, getting my little brother a haircut, buying a new puppy, and getting a hotel room. The food from the grocery store was a need because we need food to live. The clothing was a want because I didn't need more clothes I just wanted a new dress. Getting my little brother a haircut was a want because he wanted a haircut, he didn't need one. Getting a new puppy was also a want because we just wanted a puppy, we didn't have to have it/need it. In the video it showed that people should budget and manage your money, and I need to work on that because I want to save money. In the article it talked about how a person can go into debt, and I would like to save my money so I don't go into debt. I have a bank account currently and right now I am not in debt but it could happen anytime."
What are situations where it makes sense to borrow money? When is it a bad idea to borrow money?
"Situations where it makes sense to borrow money are when you are in need of something badly and you do not have quite enough to buy whatever it is that you need. Situations where it is a bad idea to borrow money is when you are heavily into debt. You do not want to borrow money then because you would not want to be even more in debt. In the video, it talks about how there is a debt monster. The debt monster is an analogy for when you are heavily in debt and need help. The video says that it is not a good idea to become heavily in debt. In the article it talks about how bank loans and borrowing money from friends and family is sometimes a good idea, but most of the time it is a bad idea. I personally have not gone into debt before. I have owed someone money before."
Create a savings goal. Pick something you want to save for, identify how much it costs, and how long it will take to save enough money to meet your goal.
"I am saving for a car and saving for college. It will take me a long time to save up for these things, and I have 4 years to save up for college because I go off for college in 4 years. I have 2 years to save up for a car because I start driving in 2 years. In the article it says that some people put money in the bank, and that is how they save their money. In the video it talks about short term, medium term, and long term savings. I would short term save by saving for a car. I would medium term save by saving up for a car. I would long term save by saving up for a house or starting a family."
When she’s not learning with PenPals, Ally participates in “volleyball after school and I am in a club called chelan project, where we go on hikes and do fun things indoors.” When she found out she was recognized as a PenPal Star for her writing, Ally told us that “First I was very surprised because I didn't think I would get this. But I am excited that I did.”
We caught up with Ally to learn more about her experience learning about money management with PenPals from around the world.
PENPAL SCHOOLS: What is your favorite subject in school?
ALLY: My favorite subject in school is English because I like to read and I am good at writing.
What has been your favorite thing about learning with PenPals?
My favorite thing about learning with PenPals is that we get to watch a video and then give our input on a question about the video and article. The most important thing [I learned] was probably that I need to be careful what I use my money on and I should save my money with a bank account.
Why do you think it's important to learn with other students from around the world?
I think we need to be more diverse and not stay enclosed to the opinions people directly around you have. We need to be more open to what everyone has to say.
What advice do you have about being a great PenPal?
Expand on your answers and be kind and open minded.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
If I could travel anywhere I would travel to South Australia because I think that would be a really cool experience.
Congratulations, Ally, and thanks for being a great PenPal! Your students can analyze their spending and create a budget in Financial Literacy & Money Management, too. Sign up to get started!