Life Lessons - click the menu above to jump to different Life Lessons. Below is a brief description of each Life Lesson.
LL#1 - Social Media for People & Business – the Do’s & Don’t of using social media to present yourself to the world and put your best face on and avoid embarrassing mistakes. Learn how to research a prospective employer's social media and position yourself well when interviewing for a job.
LL#2 - Resumes & Job Interviews – Learn the basics of a good cover letter (including emails!) and resume, as well as basic job interview skills. Also includes interviews via Video (i.e. Zoom, Skype, etc)
LL#3 - You Got the Job! Now What? –W4 and Employment Paperwork – how to fill out the paperwork needed when you first start a job, including W4, Direct Deposit paperwork, understanding withholding from your pay check. Check out Life Lessons 5, 6 & 7 for other Work Perks!
LL#4 - Pay Day! Banking and Savings – The basics of banking, including how to write checks, keep track of your checking account, using Overdraft protection, ATMs, and Debit Cards. Difference between savings, money markets and Certificates of Deposit.
LL#5 - Work Perks 1 – Many employers provide some form of Health Insurance, either for free or pay for part of the cost. There are different types of health insurance plans, and pre-tax savings plans to help you save for future health expenses (HSAs - Health Savings Accounts, FSAs - Flexible Spending Accounts). This chapter helps you understand these very important choices.
LL#6 - Work Perks 2 – Vacation days, Sick Days and other employee benefits are other benefits you receive as an employee of a company. This Life Lesson covers the above as well as disability benefits, tuition reimbursement, dental and vision plans, and other miscellaneous perks.
LL#7 - Work Perks 3 – Planning Waaaay Ahead! Retirement Benefits are a big benefit of working for a company and this chapter lays out the benefits of starting early, even with a small amount. We explain the difference between 401ks, 403bs, Roths, IRAs and the concepts of tax-free, tax-deferred, the power of compounding savings, and employer matching.
LL#8 - Start Savings! The Savings Pyramid – how to match your savings with the right investments. Short-term savings in bank accounts and longer term investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs. Budgeting and learning the difference between essential expenses and discretionary expenses and understanding the risk/reward concept as it pertains to investments.
LL#9 - Stocks – Ownership and Going for Growth – understanding the benefits and risks of investing in the stock market and the relevant terminology. We include basic explanations of the different exchanges, diversification, and valuation of stocks without getting too technical so that everyone can understand!
LL#10 - Bonds – Income and Interest – stocks get all the attention, but bonds have a place in your investment account, too. This life lesson explains the role bonds play in your portfolio and the different types of bonds that exist. This lesson also explains the role bonds play in the broader economy and the terminology associated with bonds.
LL#11 - Mutual Funds & ETFs – Mutual funds are the easiest way for people to get started investing, and often the first investment for many people, especially as part of their companies retirement plan. This Life Lesson explains the basics of how mutual funds and ETFs work, how to purchase them (load and no-load funds), the different types of funds (asset class, target date), and fund ranking systems to help people evaluate funds on their own. Also discusses portfolio managers, fees, expenses, and how asset class performance rotates over time.
LL#12 - Loans and Credit Score – Borrowing money is a crucial part of your financial life but it’s important to do it right! How much to borrow and strategies to pay it back can make all the difference to someone’s financial health long term, and having a healthy credit score is a key component of that.
LL#13 - Student Loans – Ff college is the next step for you, then this Life Lesson is critical to understanding your options for funding college. We cover the basic terminology and types of loans including federal vs private loans, deferred, subsidized and unsubsidized. We also discuss some of the different payment and forgiveness programs available including income-based, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, PAYE, and REPAYE.
LL#14 - ID Theft and Cyber Fraud – As the world moves online, it is crucial to protect our identity in the real world and virtual world. Life Lesson 14 covers important information about how to protect yourself and monitor your ID as you go forward. This is a crucial lesson as ID theft costs US Consumers millions of dollars and countless headaches every year and much of it can be avoided with better passwords and monitoring.
LL#15 - Taxes – It happens to everyone! Make money – pay taxes! Learn how and when to file taxes. Sometimes kids can file taxes to get their withholding back even if they don’t “have to”, they still should! Understand the difference between withholding vs actual taxes owed and how our progressive tax system works. We cover marginal tax rate vs blended rate as well as some basics about filing taxes such as deductions, filing terminology, the other taxation systems, refunds, and how to file for free.
Learn the Lingo!
Each page has a section with terms and info relevant to that topic easily available!
Each page shows why students should care about that Life Lesson now and in the future
Sometimes topics in the financial world have been subject to political or controversial debate or change. Where appropriate, we include these hot topics at the bottom of the pages for interest and discussion