Want to Know How to Teach Personal Finance? Read Here

Are you a concerned individual or organizational leader who wants to know how to teach personal finance? The resources and information located here will serve to launch you down the path toward a successful program.

The Cornerstones of How to Teach Personal Finance in Eight Phases

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1. Leading Hints for How to Teach Personal Finance

If you want to teach personal finance, there is a right way to go about it. For example, consider the following story which shows how someone turned their desire to learn how to teach personal finance into reality:

Jenna Cooper had been volunteering for the Salvation Army for almost a decade, and had moved up into the position of Volunteer Coordinator. Through her work, she knew that one of the organization’s founding principles was to help those in poverty. Jenna had a vision about learning how to teach personal finance, so she could bring a training program to the poor in her community and help them work toward a better future. Specifically, she wanted to help single mothers. She just needed a few pieces of information about how to conduct outreach to her target audience. She decided to go right to the source – she went out and did interviews with 10 single moms in her neighborhood, and learned that they most needed some basic information about setting up and managing their accounts, sticking to a budget, and living within their modest means.

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2. How to Teach Personal Finance #1: Describe Learner Challenges

Jenna was determined to teach personal finance comprehensively to single mothers in her community, and believed the Salvation Army was the perfect organization to spearhead the program. The first program would be two full days, or 16 hours of training for the participants. Jenna wanted it to be intensive, so the women could begin to meet their personal finance challenges and move toward financial health. Given that she had plenty of time, she was fine with the first program being an overview of the fundamentals, but wanted to pursue expanding the course to delve more deeply into how to teach personal finance later on. Jenna’s primary goal was to get single moms to the “Apply” stage on Bloom’s Taxonomy to start (being able to break down and identify relationships between information). Down the road, she hoped to move them all the way up to the “Evaluate” level.

3. Deliver and Pace Lessons According to Objectives

Jenna’s next task, now that she had a firm sense of her near-term and farther-reaching goals, was to pick her delivery methods. She had already chosen live instruction as the initial mode. But how should she pace the coursework? She learned about asynchronous education, where multiple delivery modes were combined when teaching personal finance. Jenna thought some combination of in-person classes and one-on-one consultations might be helpful to the single moms, whose schedules were tight with children’s activities and other obligations.

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4. Topic Selection is Key Step to Teach Personal Finance

Jenna was making real progress. Now she needed to choose a few topics for the two-day training. The women had told her they wanted to learn about account management, budgeting, and living within their means. She had plenty of time to work with, so she decided to focus first on financial psychology, because that would help the single moms differentiate between “needs” and “wants” and understand their relationships with money. Then she would move on to talk about budgeting, savings, and building a credit profile.

5. Moving Forward to Select the Trainer

Jenna’s program was moving forward, but now she had to locate an instructor with appropriate credentials in both money management content and knowledge of how to teach personal finance. She made contact with the NFEC and asked about Certified Instructors in her area. Luckily, there was a CFEI not far from the Salvation Army’s community headquarters that was in training to become a personal finance coach.

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6. Consult Expert Advice to Choose Curriculum

Jenna consulted with the CFEI about the best personal finance lesson plans to use for her program. He suggested a package that was modular to allow flexibility in scheduling; and that aligned with standards for both personal finance and education. Jenna achieved these aims by selecting a curriculum that could accommodate any schedule and that was designed according to evidence-based learning principles.

7. Indicate Success of How to Teach Personal Finance

Jenna had secured funding for this first attempt to teach personal finance out of the Salvation Army’s coffers. However, she knew she needed to demonstrate program success in order to attract long-term support to make it sustainable. Jenna designed measures to demonstrate program impact. A total of 43 single moms came to the two-day workshop, and they showed an average improvement of 30% on a personal finance test. Jenna used these data to create an attractive report that she intended to distribute to the Salvation Army leadership, as well as other organizations that might be interested in funding her initiative.

How To Teach Personal Finance

8. Encourage and Support Participants Over Time

One two-day training would not be enough, Jenna realized. The single mothers would need ongoing encouragement and support to recall and apply the lessons in their daily lives. Jenna hosted a graduation event at the end of the second training day to recognize the attendants’ achievements. Then she set up office hours at the Salvation Army and invited the single moms to stop by or call with questions and challenges, and she and the instructor would offer guidance and consultation to help them take action toward improving their personal finances.

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