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My Curriculum for Money Education in High School

money in jar with books and magnifying glass

Ever since I started learning about money in the summer of 2008, I’ve been fascinated with the lack of money education in our lives. No one teaches us anything about money, yet, every single person in this world deals with money every day.

America’s a nation that repeatedly struggles when it comes to money, but no one is stepping up to address and fix the problem.

High school students take classes like Spanish, clothing, Science, French, wood shop, and technology but for some reason basic money management is vacant from a majority of high school curriculums.

In order to improve the money savviness of Americans, mandatory money classes must be implemented in high schools around the country.

It doesn’t need to be a huge class taking up tons of school resources and time, but here’s what I think a money management curriculum should look like for high school students.

Class 1: Introduction to Money Basics

Sophomore Year

1 semester

2 days a week

Freshman are busy acclimating to new surroundings and are too preoccupied trying to find someone to kiss so the first class would be for sophomores.

This class should cover the basic money essentials in one’s life. This course will provide a stable money foundation for the teenagers as they move on to get part-time jobs, start driving, and eventually move onto college.

Topics covered in this course would be:


– An introduction to checking and savings accounts

– Online banking

– Interest rates

– Compound interest


How to save for future goals

– How to create a budget for expenses

– How to track expenses and create savings goals

Credit (cards)

What makes up a credit score

– How to use a credit card

– Understanding the numbers behind a credit card (APR, interest, minimums)

– The real cost of credit card debt

Class 2: Money in the Real World

Senior Year

1 semester

2 days a week

It’s easier for parents to keep an eye on their child’s spending when they’re living in their home, but when they go off to college and the credit cards start sprouting out of no where, a money education is even more important.

This class takes the basic money education the students learned in the sophomore class and builds on it as it applies to real world money situations.

Topics covered in this course would be:

Student Loans

How to find them

– The difference between private and public loans

– How to properly use them

– How to pay them off

Cars and Car Loans

Difference between leasing and buying

– How to save for a car

– Understanding car loans

Housing and Mortgages

Renting vs. owning

– How to find a house you can afford

– The specifics of a mortgage

– How to properly save for a house

The cost of real-world bills

Understanding the bills adults have

– Phone, electricity, rent, etc. .

– How to budget for them


I’m really interested to hear what you guys think about this one so let me know in the comments what you think should and shouldn’t be included in a money class.

If there are enough comments, I’ll put together a comprehensive curriculum of reader’s choices in a future post.

What kind of format for classes would you like? Are 2 classes enough? When should the classes be held? What topics are essential and what could be left off the curriculum?

Thanks, I’m really looking forward to what you guys up come up with!

Photo: cdsessums

Post Author: Matthew

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May 2024