NEW! Common Cents: Foundations in Personal Finance

NEW! Common Cents: Foundations in Personal Finance


About this course

Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 12-17. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.

Start Date:  September 3. Class runs for 6 weeks. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete the course. No live classes- do the lesson plans on YOUR schedule.

Price: $80

Space Available: This class is currently full. Please join our mailing list to be notified when enrollment opens again.

This six week personal finance class is designed to educate young students on the importance
of having comprehensive knowledge of and positive behavior surrounding money management.
Students will learn the fundamental skills of saving, budgeting, and investing, as well as gain an
understanding of the basics of global economics, taxes, insurance, debt and credit, as well as
investing and retirement planning. The main objective of this course is to help students gain a
more comprehensive understanding of financial relationships and what to expect after high
school. Students will leave the course with more confidence in their ability to manage their own
finances, plan for their future, and to enter the world as prepared adults.

This is class is not recommended for most children under 12 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!). There will be only one level for this course.

LESSON PLANS: This is a 6 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION: There are weekly discussions about the lesson plan with the instructor. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: Most weeks, students get to choose from a list of exciting and fun hands on projects to let them really dig deep into topics in the lesson plan that interest them the most! The goal is to allow students to explore the topic while allowing their creativity to flow. We encourage out of the box thinking! Generally projects can be submitted in any format of the student’s choosing…written, presentation, poster, stop motion animation, minecraft, song, skit…we’ve seen it all!! Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.

TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

Week 1 – Introduction to Personal Finance
The class begins with an introduction to the topic of personal finance. This lesson also includes
an introduction to banking, including how a checking account works, balancing a checkbook,
and reconciling receipts.

Week 2 – Saving and Budgeting
Students will learn the importance of financial planning and goal setting. Students will learn how
a savings account works, and the lesson teaches the importance of both the knowledge and
behavior surrounding budgeting and financial planning practices.

Week 3 – Credit and Debt
Students will gain a better understanding of what credit is, how credit cards work, financial
loans, and managing debt. This lesson also covers the topic of paying for college, including
student loans, grants, scholarships, and paying off student debt.

Week 4 – Insurance, Investing, and Retirement
Students will learn the importance of financial risk management, including how insurance works
and the importance of appropriate, cost-effective strategies of risk management. This lesson
also introduces students to long-term financial planning, including investing and planning for

Week 5 – Global Economics
This lesson explores various topics in economics, including economic systems, the process of
supply and demand, understanding gross domestic product, as well as the basics of trade and
exchange. Students will gain a better understanding of the processes and systems of global
economics that might provide a more holistic understanding of finances from a global

Week 6 – Careers, Taxes, and Life After High School
The last week of the course focuses on the student’s future–what to expect financially once they
become an adult. This lesson examines pursuing a career, types of incomes, and how taxes
work. This lesson aims to leave the student prepared to enter the professional world from a
financial perspective.


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

Total numbers of students in course