The High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) will be retiring on July 31, 2021. Learn more about this decision.


3 Student-Led Activities for Financial Literacy Month

Did you know that Financial Literacy Month started as an HSFPP activity? In January 1994 NEFE and the Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture co-sponsored a national honorary observance to focus attention on youth financial literacy.

The original intention of Financial Literacy Month was to encourage adults to teach youth about money, but that doesn’t mean we need to continue that model.


1) Students as Teachers

Empower teens with an opportunity to teach younger students, challenge them to organize an after-school class to teach members of their community about a personal finance topic or to write a personal finance story for their high school or local newspaper.

Resources students can use include:

  • Money Matters: A resource NEFE provides in partnership with the Radio-Television Digital News Association (RTDNA), to provide journalists with story ideas, reporting examples, coverage strategies, case studies and more.
  • Jump$tart Clearinghouse: Online library of financial education resources primarily for preschool through college-age audiences.

2) Educating with Creativity

How might your students use their skills, creativity and new technologies to teach a financial lesson? Would they create an app or a video game, write an educational song, make a video or use animation? Let them design the lesson and come up with a medium to share their educational content beyond the classroom.

Looking for an example to share with students? Learn about Dana Adcock, who created 11 Financial LITeracy Films for teens and young adults for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Share her videos to inspire your students.

3) Flip the Conversation

Research shows that parents have the greatest influence on their teen's money habits and beliefs. Media channels everywhere offer advice for parents on how to start the conversation with their teens, and how they can influence their children's future financial capability.

Each HSFPP lesson has at least one suggested “Taking it Home” activity, listed on both the Teacher Lesson Plan and the Student Learning Plan.

Here are some examples of the activities suggested in the curriculum that teens can use to engage their families.

Lesson 1-1: Money Habits

  • How do your spending and money values compare to your family's values? Use the HSFPP Values and Spending Survey task to interview a family member. Compare that person's responses to your responses.
  • In what ways do you share the same spending and money values? In what ways are you different? How can this information help you both better understand where the other is coming from when it comes to spending money?

Lesson 2-2: Credit Costs

  • Compare cell phone plans for your family. Gather information about at least two plans provided by different carriers. Find out what information you need to provide to the companies when you apply the plans.
  • Use the DECIDE decision-making process learned in Module 1 to establish criteria for selecting a cell phone plan based on your current needs and financial situation. Compare the terms of each plan, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each plan. Decide which option best meets your criteria.

Lesson 3-4: Lifestyle

  • Talk to an adult about any workplace benefits he or she may have. Ask if this person had a choice over any of the benefits and, if so, what influenced his or her final decisions.

Lesson 4-4: Investment Strategy

  • Does your family have a shared savings or investing goal such as owning a home, reducing debt, paying for college or taking a family vacation? What are the steps your family can take to meet family savings and goals? Based on what you learned in this lesson, what can you suggest to help achieve the family goal?

Lesson 5-2: Financial Tools and Technology

  • Survey 10 adults in your life to find out the electronic payment options or services they use. Also, ask them if technology has changed the way they spend, track and save money.

Lesson 6-1: Manage Risk

  • Find out if your family has any of the following types of insurance: homeowners, renters, health, life, flood, auto, motorcycle, ATV, RV, liability, pet or cellphone.

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