Personal and Family Finance

We all know money is important in life. But how important? In fact, the financial decisions you make today may have a lasting effect on your future. Rather than feeling anxious about money feel empowered by learning how to make smart decisions! Personal and Family Finance will begin the conversation around how to spend and save your money wisely, investing in safe opportunities and the days ahead. Learning key financial concepts around taxes, credit, and money management will provide both understanding and confidence as you begin to navigate your own route to future security. Discover how education, career choices, and financial planning can lead you in the right direction to making your life simpler, steadier, and more enjoyable.

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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.

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: American Families and the Economy

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.

Unit 2: Our Economic World

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.

Unit 3: Financial Responsibility

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.

Unit 4: Financial Institutions

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.

Unit 5: Personal Taxation

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.

Unit 6: Insurance, Wills and Contracts

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.

Unit 7: Saving and Investing

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.

Unit 8: Consumer Credit

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.

Unit 9: Managing Personal and Family Finances

One of the most important aspects of money management for individuals and families is learning how to successfully track and budget their money. Doing so allows us to not only know our financial situation, but to plan for the future and our financial goals, and to avoid situations where we might run out of money. In this unit, we will consider the basics of money management, including keeping financial records, creating personal financial statements, and budgeting money.

Unit 10: Consumer Choices

Successful financial management includes not only planning our finances, saving and investing, and insuring ourselves, but also making good consumer choices. As individuals in modern society, we purchase goods and services regularly, from the gasoline we buy to power our cars to the clothes we purchase to wear. We buy groceries, technology, and entertainment. Making good choices in the items we buy can help us better manage our various financial situations. In this unit, we will discuss some aspects of making consumer decisions and learn about protecting our finances by reducing the threat of identity theft.

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