Common Cents: Foundations in Personal Finance

Common Cents: Foundations in Personal Finance


About this course

Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 13-17. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.

Start Date:  Fall 2022. Course consists of 6 lesson plans. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete the course. No live classes- view the lessons on YOUR schedule.

Price: $90

Space Available: This class is not currently open for enrollment. 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 quizzes, labs, and online assessments automatically receive a grade in the system. You have the option of having your student’s individual projects graded or not (all assignments receive instructor feedback). Report cards are issued at the end of the course- one for ungraded students and one for graded students. These mean nothing other than for your own records or reporting purposes. We do not maintain copies.

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 – Investing, and Retirement
This lesson introduces students to long-term financial planning, including investing to build wealth and planning for retirement. Students will have the opportunity to play a virtual stock market game with their classmates!

Week 5 – Insurance
Students will learn the importance of financial risk management, including how insurance works
and the importance of appropriate, cost-effective strategies of risk management with insurance.

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