Personal & Family Finance

Course Overview

Units at a glance

While many families are aware of their personal financial situations such as their income, debt, employment status, and budgets, many individuals are less aware of the connections between their finances and the overall economy. In this unit, we will consider the connections between American families and the economy. We will learn more about different types of economies and the links between the economy, the government, and individuals.

Many factors affect our personal economic situations. Some of these factors are individuals ones that we create through our own actions. Other factors are more all-encompassing and largely outside of our control. In this unit, we will consider some of the larger economic factors that influence our own personal financial situations. We will examine factors such as scarce resources, “free” items, fiscal policies, and the stock market.

Throughout our lives, we make financial decisions. We decide which items to buy and which ones not to buy. We decide how much money to save and how much money to spend. Some of our decisions will be good ones financially, and other decisions will be less financially responsible. In this unit, we will explore the idea of financial responsibility and how to practice good financial decision-making. We will look at how to set financial goals and some of the ways that we can set ourselves up for financial success through the decisions that we make.

When was the last time you visited a bank? Although more of our financial matters now occur online, the importance of financial institutions is not diminishing in our lives. Banks, credit unions, mutual fund companies, brokerage firms, and life insurance companies continue to play a large role in the ways that we manage our money. In this unit, we will learn more about the different types of financial institutions and the services they offer.

Taxes: love them or hate them, we all have to pay them. Taxes serve an important function in society by providing money for government services and infrastructure, such as roads, public utilities, and public buildings. Although we all end up paying taxes, we may not always understand exactly how taxes work. In this unit, we’ll consider the basics of a tax system, focusing on the tax system of the United States. We’ll learn more about how taxes are calculated and the different options for filing taxes.

Our modern lives are surrounded by contracts. We sign them when we buy or rent a home, when we take out a loan, or when engaging in business activities. In this unit, we will examine the basics behind contracts and examine a common contract known as an insurance policy. We will also discuss another common legal document: wills. We’ll learn about some of the different types of insurance policies and wills and the impact that these can have on successful financial planning.

As we work toward our financial goals, we often need to save and invest our money in order to reach these goals. Savings accounts can help us accumulate money for an emergency or for a purchase that we’d like to make. Investing is a common way of trying to grow one’s money for longer term financial goals, such as retirement. Although investing can seem overwhelming with all of the choices available, learning more about these areas can help you reach your financial goals.

Consumer credit has grown dramatically over the past several decades. The average adult owns multiple credit cards and may have other forms of consumer credit as well, such as personal or educational loans. While consumer credit can make our lives easier in many ways, it can also present challenges to successful financial management. In this unit, we will learn more about consumer credit and how best to handle the credit and debt that we may have.

Course Highlights

Examine credit and learn how to use credit wisely.
Explore how to better control your money and avoid money problems.
Create a plan to reach your financial goals.
Learn about different types of banks and how taxes will affect you.

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