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Money Smart

Grades 9 - 12

Last Updated: February 2, 2022

This standards-aligned curriculum series empowers educators with engaging activities to integrate financial education instruction into subjects such as math, English, and social studies. Here is a brief overview of what you will find:

  • Educator’s Guide with lessons and hands-on activities to promote student participation in the learning process. Grade-level modifications are identified throughout the activities.
  • Teacher Presentation Slides, optional overhead visuals that include fill-in charts to support the activities of each lesson.
  • Student Guide features worksheets for students based on topics covered in each lesson that can be used at school or at home. The worksheets can be found in the Educator Guide for grades Pre-K-2, and in a standalone Student Guide for grades 3-12.
  • Parents’/Caregivers’ Guide with a summary of the key concepts covered in the module, and that offers exercises, activities, and conversation-starters for parents.

Superintendents, Principals, Educators and other Administrators:

The FDIC would like to hear from school superintendents, principals, or other school leaders on how we can support educators in your schools using the Money Smart curriculum. In addition, the FDIC wants to hear from educators who use the curriculum on what worked well, what could be improved, and promising approaches you may have used to deliver the curriculum. Please contact and describe where the curriculum could be used and the grade-level range of the students.

Course Description

This page provides details on the lessons that comprise Money Smart for Grades 9 - 12.

The first table helps you find lessons that align with key financial topics as defined through the My Money Five ( The second table illustrates the topic and learning objectives for each of the lessons.

Theme Corresponding Lesson
  • Lesson 1 (Career Options)
  • Lesson 6 (Managing Your Paycheck)
  • Lesson 13 (Understanding the Economy)
  • Lesson 21 and 22 (Entrepreneurship)
  • Lesson 3 (Spending and Budgeting)
  • Lesson 10 (Automobile Purchase)
  • Lesson 12 (College and Student Loans)
  • Lesson 16 (Homeownership and Renting)
  • Lesson 17 (Charitable Giving)
Save and Invest
  • Lesson 2 (Financial Planning)
  • Lesson 4 (Importance of Savings)
  • Lesson 5 (Choosing a Banking Partner)
  • Lesson 12 (College and Student Loans)
  • Lesson 13 (Understanding the Economy)
  • Lesson 14 (Financial Markets and Investing)
  • Lesson 15 (Retirement Planning)
  • Lesson 7 (Credit)
  • Lesson 8 (Credit Cards)
  • Lesson 9 (Understanding Financial Ratios)
  • Lesson 12 (College and Student Loans)
  • Lesson 13 (Understanding the Economy)
  • Lesson 5 (Choosing a Banking Partner)
  • Lesson 11 (Risk Management and Insurance)
  • Lesson 18 (Estate Planning)
  • Lesson 19 (Financial Resources)
  • Lesson 20 (Consumer Protection)

Lessons at a Glance

Lesson Number Lesson Title Topic Learning Objectives
1 Working Hard for the Money Career Options
  • Identify career options and education or training required for different careers
  • Name sources of income
  • Explain the relationship between income and taxes
  • Demonstrate how to research and analyze different careers
2 Designing Dreams Financial Planning
  • Determine personal values and financial goals
  • Determine personal financial decisions
  • Create a financial plan
  • Summarize the purpose of financial planning
3 Can You Pay Your Bills? Spending and Budgeting
  • Develop a plan for spending and saving
  • Create a system for keeping financial records
  • Identify personal income and expenses or system for cash flow management
4 Boost Your Savings The Importance of Saving
  • Describe how savings affects financial well-being
  • Explain compound interest
  • Identify and research savings products
  • Explain how interest is computed on savings
5 Bank Your Bucks Choosing a Banking Partner
  • Analyze different financial institutions and conduct a comparative analysis of each institution
  • Explain the key differences between checking and savings accounts
  • Demonstrate how to control personal information
  • Understand the benefits of using federally insured financial institutions
6 Bread-and-Butter Managing Your Paycheck
  • Decode and identify elements of a paycheck
  • Discuss how taxes, personal exemptions, and deductions impact net pay
  • Explain how to calculate gross and net income
  • Discuss the IRS Form W-4
7 Capacity, Character, Collateral, Capital Credit
  • Define creditworthiness
  • Evaluate positive and negative types of credit
  • Explain credit factors and risks and how credit scores work
  • Discuss how to maintain or increase credit score
  • Explain how credit is damaged
8 The Almighty Dollar? Credit Cards
  • Identify how credit cards differ from debit cards
  • Discuss different types of credit cards
  • Summarize credit card key terms and conditions and consumer protection laws 
  • Evaluate credit card offers and explain how to manage a credit card
  • Demonstrate how to compute the debt-to-limit ratio
9 As Easy as Pi Financial Ratios
  • Identify common financial ratios
  • Demonstrate and explain how to calculate financial ratios
  • Discuss how financial ratios impact financial decision making and creditworthiness
10 Convertible or Clunker? Automobile Purchase
  • Research and investigate secured and unsecured installment loans
  • Calculate how much car to afford
  • Evaluate long-term costs associated with buying a car, including insurance and maintenance
  • Explain the difference between leasing and purchasing
11 Risky Business Risk Management and Insurance
  • Identify common risks and strategies to reduce risk
  • Explain the purpose and importance of various insurance types
  • Recognize when insurance is needed and how to get it
12 Halls of Knowledge Financing College
  • Identify the costs of college
  • Discuss student loan management
  • Research and compare different college financial aid choices
  • Discuss the earning potential of a degree in relationship to its cost
13 The Policy of Personal Choice Understanding the Economy
  • Understand how the economy impacts personal financial choices
  • Summarize monetary and fiscal policy
  • Understand inflation
  • Understand economic cycles
14 Increasing the Value of Your Money Financial Markets and Investing
  • Understand how investing helps meet financial goals and build wealth over time
  • Research and evaluate investment vehicles and resources
  • Explain how investments are regulated
  • Explain how investments can be impacted by economic and business cycles
15 Road to Retirement Retirement Planning
  • Explain how long-term retirement savings through investing builds wealth
  • Identify differences in retirement planning strategies
  • Create a retirement plan
  • Understand Social Security benefits
16 Crash Pad Homeownership and Renting
  • Explain the responsibilities and expenses of renting versus owning
  • Analyze renting versus homeownership
  • Evaluate sound financial decision making for renting and owning property
  • Discuss costs related to homeownership
  • Discuss how homeownership can create wealth
  • Understand the mortgage approval process
17 Pocket Giving Charitable Giving
  • Evaluate charitable giving
  • Analyze monetary and nonmonetary forms of giving
  • Create a spending plan to include giving
  • Discuss tax deductions for giving
18 Paving the Future Estate Planning
  • Identify elements of an estate plan
  • Evaluate how to title property
  • Explain the importance of a will
  • Understand the consequences of not having an estate plan
19 Financial Sleuth Financial Resources
  • Demonstrate how to find and use financial resources
  • Differentiate between credible and dishonest financial resources
  • Define and explain the role of a financial planner
  • Understand federal and state consumer protection laws and self-regulatory organizations
20 Protect Yourself Consumer Protection
  • Explain identity theft
  • Evaluate consumer rights and protection laws
  • Demonstrate how to protect personal information
21 Launching Your Dream Entrepreneurship 1: Starting a Business
  • Identify and consider risks and rewards of entrepreneurship
  • Evaluate business start-up practices
  • Explain how entrepreneurship and innovation are a source of economic growth
  • Identify the types of business organizations (sole proprietorship, corporations, LLC, and so on)
22 Maintenance Mode Entrepreneurship 2: Maintaining a Business
  • Understand and describe tax planning and reports
  • Debate business management strategies
  • Explain insurance choices for businesses

Return to Money Smart for Young People to learn more or download the curriculum.

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