Understanding how to navigate all the financial requirements, services, options and opportunities available to us has become
more complex over the past 25 years. Here are just a few technologies and terms which have entered our lives since the early 1980s: ATMs,
online banking, online shopping, electronic funds transfer, identity theft, and phishing. The links below provide useful tools for adult literacy teachers
and learners alike.
These groups may be able to visit Massachusetts adult literacy programs for the purpose of providing an overview of financial literacy and/or helping fine-tune related curriculum units.
MIDAS (Boston area)
Tel. 617-787-3874, x214
Community and Family Economics (CAF)
The Literacy Assistance Center in New York offers this small set of lesson plans, online resources and recommended books.
Two main site sections—teachers, students—each of which has a motherlode of lessons, activities, definitions and
FDIC: Money Smart
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation offers an online train-the-trainer video for their financial literacy curriculum and the chance to order free copies of that curriculum on CD-ROM in a half dozen languages.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA): Investment Choices
A pointer site which offers a small set of useful lessons and worksheets, incluing college calculators, a kid's savings calculator and a four-unit guide on the basics of saving and investing.
Financial Workshop Kits
Intended for planners, social service professionals, and others presenting in the community. The site contains customized presentations for specific audiences (victims of domestic violence, college students, military).
Freddie Mac: CreditSmart
This guide – in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese – is available for download and includes worksheets and short units that can be used individually or adapted to a classroom setting. The guide can also be used in a "next steps" class to assist learners in developing the concept of a financial future.
How to Buy a Home: Lessons for Adult Learners
From the Fannie Mae Foundation, online versions of two of their home-buying books, plus an extensive set of tools for teachers.
Not a site that could be read by beginning or intermediate level learners—and annoying popup ads occur—but practitioners could adapt much
of the information for classroom use. The
online dictionary and the buzzword list
could be handy in all kinds of settings. (Who is "Aunt Millie"?)
IRS: Understanding Taxes
From the source comes a website which covers all the basics of payroll and income taxes, complete with 36 lesson plans.
Mapping Your Financial Journey: Helping Adults Plan for College
A nicely-designed site from NCTN and NEFE addressing goal-setting, money management, financial aid and more.
MetLife Life Advice: Financial
From a major health and life insurance company comes a feature-rich site covering banks, budgets, investments, taxes and much more, all written for high-level readers, but adaptable for most
adult literacy classrooms.
Related sections cover creating a budget and
Subtitle: "It makes perfect cents." Mostly a good set of basic financial information and advice engagingly presented, with a few activities thrown in ("Making a budget").
A set of 34 classroom modules covering all manner of financial transactions: saving and spending, investing and credit, etc. Teachers need to register
to use the site, but the site is offered free of charge.
The US Financial Literacy and Education Commission has put together a very link-dense site covering many of the common topics—credit, banking, planning for college,
starting a business—and some not-so-common topics: responding to life events. The entire site also is available in Spanish.
My Retirement Paycheck
A holistic approach to retirement for middle income consumers (identified as annual incomes beginning at $30,000), whether they have made plans or not.
National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE)
Their Financial Education Evaluation Toolkit is intended for individuals teaching a class, program, or seminar.
Personal Financial Education Resources
This page from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston lists a few curricula and links to several other organizations, many of which offer publications. One of the best sublinks:
www.federalreserveeducation.org/pfed, which will get you to all kinds
of well-done text-and-graphics explanations of financial services (complete with quizes in many cases).
Practical Money Skills for Life
Provided by the VISA credit card giant, this site offers numerous lesson plans at all grade levels (K-college). Teacher registration is required, but the site is free.
Smart About Money
Covers financial basics; designed for consumers of all ages.
A social media site with YouTube-like confessionals on spending choices we later regret. One fave: the little girl whose video is titled, "My parents are spenders. Please help."
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