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

Teacher Testimonial Video

What Personal Finance Topics Connect with Teens

We asked experienced HSFPP teachers what key financial education concepts are important to share with students. Hear the advice they would give a colleague deciding what topics to teach.

Video Transcript: What Personal Finance Topics Connect with Teens?

Persis Beaven, Northwest Early College High School:

Last year, one of the activities that I tried was about buying a car and so that was described as very eye-opening and some students say that I had broken their dreams...Well of buying their dream car, but I felt that it was important and they enjoyed it.

I think they like to learn things that will be useful not just in the next level class, but in life in general.

Joey Running, West Albany High School:

I try to communicate with my students one of the most important things that they can do for themselves is to plan for the unexpected, and in doing so, have that emergency account available to them and I go through a number of different real-life experiences that I have and they love that.

They love the storytelling, they love that their teacher is a real person because sometimes they don't think that's the case.


I think one of the most important concepts is to learn the value of money but not just only in their city, but in other places as well.  Also, to learn how much their career is going to pay. Students sometimes tend to choose careers that will not pay very well and they want to move to a city that could be too expensive or they could end up borrowing too much money, just to attend school.  And so, learning the earning power that is one of the biggest.

Maintaining a good credit history is important because it's not only related to financing things and interest rates, but employers could also deny...well not deny you, but they could check your credit score in your credit report to determine if you are a trustworthy person.

Christopher Brida, Benjamin Franklin High School

I think a lot of times our students when they get money they spend money as fast as they get it. There's no saving whatsoever. So if you think about the idea of; pay yourself first, students generally hate delayed gratification. They, like, need instant, as soon as I have something I'm gonna spend it.

And so the idea of, well if I save money now; and we do this example with buying a coffee every day how much that costs, or Cheetos and pineapple soda.

When they spend money on that every day the reality is that, if they saved all of that money over the course of the year they can buy a computer or something that is more valuable to them, that's not just wasted.

Related Teacher Stories

Persis Beaven: Applying Mathematics to “Real-Life” Financial Decisions

Joey Running: Teaching Students to Make Intentional Spending Decisions

Christopher Brida: Empowering Students to See Their Potential Beyond Their Current Reality