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Money Smart

Money Smart for Young People

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024

FDIC Money Smart for Young People features four free age-appropriate curricula that promote financial understanding and are specifically designed for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educators. Each curriculum includes:

  • An educator guide, student handouts, and powerpoint slides
  • Multiple lessons that can be taught alone or in combination
  • Standards alignment charts
  • Ideas for grade-level modification
  • Real-life exercises and examples
  • Suggestions for optional books or online games/tools that can reinforce student understanding
  • Ideas to integrate into existing academic subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Social Studies

FDIC Money Smart News for Kids was based on the Money Smart for Young People, grades 3-5 curriculum. It includes nine chapters, which introduce basic banking terms to young people, who are perhaps just beginning to learn about finances. Each issue builds upon the next and introduces two characters, Isabella and Noah, who try out different financial concepts along the way. Available at no-cost in English and Spanish language.

Other Youth Resources


teacher and class

Grades PreK-2 contains six lessons with hands-on, cross-curricular activities that engage preschool through second grade students. It explains financial concepts with age appropriate activities such as counting coins and defining needs and wants.

Full Grades PreK - 2 Curriculum

PreK - 2 Standard Alignment Chart

Due to the small screen size some information is no longer visible.
Full information available when viewed on a larger screen.

Lesson Number Lesson Title Resources Themes Learning Objectives
1 Counting Coins Educator Guide (L1K)
Handouts (L1K)
Slides (L1K)
Understanding Currency
  • Describe the purpose of money
  • Examine and discuss the history of money
  • Explain ways money can be used
  • Identify, sort, and count coins and bills
2 Learn to Earn Educator Guide (L2K)
Handouts (L2K)
Slides (L2K)
Earning Money
  • Identify and explore different jobs
  • Examine sources of income (such as selling lemonade or receiving birthday money)
  • Discover and explain that money is made (earned) by working
3 Weighing Needs and Wants Educator Guide (L3K)
Handouts (L3K)
Slides (L3K)
Needs and Wants
  • Define needs and wants
  • Differentiate between needs and wants
  • Compare and prioritize needs and wants
4 Ready. Set. Goal. Educator Guide (L4K)
Handouts (L4K)
Slides (L4K)
Setting Goals
  • Describe goal setting and how it relates to financial decisions
  • Name personal goals with support
5 Super Savers Educator Guide (L5K)
Handouts (L5K)
Slides (L5K)
Saving and Spending
  • Identify and evaluate saving and spending
  • Recognize a bank as a safe place to save
  • Create a savings jar or piggy bank
6 Borrowing Bills Educator Guide (L6K)
Handouts (L6K)
Slides (L6K)
Borrowing and Lending
  • Describe borrowing and lending with real-life examples
  • Discuss and illustrate ways to borrow responsibly


Students raising hands

Grades 3-5 contains eight lessons that expand on the lessons introduced in the PreK-2 curriculum. There are also newer topics such as how to create a budget and identifying ways to set goals for saving money.

Full Grades 3 - 5 Curriculum

Grades 3 - 5 Standard Alignment Chart

Due to the small screen size some information is no longer visible.
Full information available when viewed on a larger screen.

Lesson Number Lesson Title Resources Themes Learning Objectives
1 Money Matters Educator Guide (L13)
Handouts (L13)
Slides (L13)
Buying Decisions
  • Explain the difference between needs and wants, and identify examples of each
  • Compare and prioritize needs and wants
  • Evaluate different choices when making a purchase
  • Discuss impulse buying
  • Discuss and explain opportunity cost
2 Get Set for Goals Educator Guide (L23)
Handouts (L23)
Slides (L23)
Setting Goals
  • Identify and develop ways to set short-term and long-term goals for saving
  • Explain the importance of setting goals for saving
  • Identify things that might affect decisions to spend or save money
3 Make a Plan Educator Guide (L33)
Handouts (L33)
Slides (L33)
  • Explain the term “budget”
  • Identify categories of a budget (income, expenses, savings)
  • Create a budget
  • Apply budgeting skills to real-world scenarios
  • Understand the concept of “pay yourself first”
4 Save Your Money Educator Guide (L43)
Handouts (L43)
Slides (L43)
  • Explain what banks do and what interest is
  • Name benefits of saving money in a bank versus at home
  • Understand risks and why it’s important to save for emergencies
  • Evaluate real-world scenarios that focus on saving for emergencies, unexpected events, or purchases
  • Create an infographic to show possible risks for a real-world scenario
5 Which Way to Pay? Educator Guide (L53)
Handouts (L53)
Slides (L53)
Payment Options
  • Explain the concept of credit and debit (including checks and money orders)
  • Compare and contrast various payment methods (cash, credit, and debit)
  • Apply knowledge of payment options to real-world scenarios
  • Discuss the consequences of paying back credit past the due date
  • Discuss identity theft and types of personal information that should not be shared
6 Get Invested Educator Guide (L63)
Handouts (L63)
Slides (L63)
Introduction to Investing
  • Explore the basic concepts of investing, including risk and return
  • Compare and contrast several kinds of investments
  • Analyze the savings outcome of several investment options
  • Explain the value of long-term financial planning
7 It's Great to Donate! Educator Guide (L73)
Handouts (L73)
Slides (L73)
Charitable Giving
  • Explain the meaning of charitable giving, and its rewards
  • Create a plan to raise money for a charitable cause
  • Research various charitable causes
  • Organize a charity drive
8 Career Choices Educator Guide (L83)
Handouts (L83)
Slides (L83)
Exploring Careers and Income
  • Identify and explore different types of jobs
  • Evaluate personal interests related to careers
  • Explain how money is earned and why it is taxed
  • Explain what an entrepreneur is


students in class raising hands

Grades 6-8 contains 12 lessons and is most appropriate for children ages 11 – 13. This curriculum contains important topics such as how to choose a successful career, and an introduction to understanding credit and debt.

Full Grades 6 - 8 Curriculum

Grades 6 - 8 Standard Alignment Chart

Due to the small screen size some information is no longer visible.
Full information available when viewed on a larger screen.

Lesson Number Lesson Title Resources Themes Learning Objectives
1 The Path to Success Educator Guide (L16)
Handouts (L16)
Slides (L16)
Career and Job Opportunities
  • Identify and assess the skills and experience needed for a variety of careers
  • Examine the impact of education and other opportunities like internships on career trajectory
  • Create a path for advancing in a career field
2 Bread and Butter Educator Guide (L26)
Handouts (L26)
Slides (L26)
Introduction to Taxes
  • Understand and explain the purpose of federal income and state tax and how it affects personal income.
  • Apply mathematical skills and concepts to tax brackets and personal income
  • Describe and evaluate the importance of the current federal income tax system
3 Designing Dreams Educator Guide (L36)
Handouts (L36)
Slides (L36)
Financial Goals
  • Identify and explain needs and wants
  • Identify their own financial values and apply those values to their financial goals
  • Create a financial goal and develop the process to achieve it, factoring in possible barriers to that goal
  • Understand an explain the importance of creating financial goals
4 Being a Savvy Shopper Educator Guide (L46)
Handouts (L46)
Slides (L46)
Smart Shopping
  • Consider the role of needs and wants in decision making
  • Evaluate the credibility and motivation of marketing and advertising
  • Distinguish the best value of goods and services
  • Define and apply opportunity cost to purchases
5 Go with the Flow Educator Guide (L56)
Handouts (L56)
Slides (L56)
Cash Flow and Budgeting
  • Explain the purpose and value of budgeting
  • Explain the budget categories: fixed expenses, variable expenses, and discretionary expenses
  • Create a budget accouting for income, expenses, and unexpected scenarios
6 Super Savers Educator Guide (L66)
Handouts (L66)
Slides (L66)
The Importance of Saving
  • Understand and explain the importance of saving money
  • Evaluate methods for saving money, both for a scenario and in their own lives
7 How to Stash Your Cash Educator Guide (L76)
Handouts (L76)
Slides (L76)
Savings Options
  • Evaluate and differentiate a variety of banking and savings options
  • Identify the benefits of creating a savings account
  • Understand compound interest and how it can increase savings
8 Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees Educator Guide (L86)
Handouts (L86)
Slides (L86)
Investing Options
  • Understand investment growth, losses, reward, and risk by developing and tracking a stock portfolio
  • Demonstrate a general understanding of investment vehicles, like bonds, stocks, and mutual funds
  • Create investment tips for an adult audience
9 Give Credit Where Credit Is Due Educator Guide (L96)
Handouts (L96)
Credit and Debt
  • Understand how to build credit and practices that may hurt credit
  • Identify the economic benefits of good credit
  • Discuss the consequences of debt
10 Protecting Yourself Educator Guide (L106)
Protecting Your Identity
  • Create a trifold informative brochure on identity theft and prevention methods
  • Apply information about identity theft and prevention in realistic role-plays
11 Risky Business Educator Guide (L116)
Handouts (L116)
Financial Risk
  • Identify methods to protect oneself from unwanted financial risk
  • Create a risk management plan for a purchase
12 Spend, Save, or Give? Educator Guide(L126)
Personal Financial Choices
  • Create a balanced budget that takes into consideration spending, saving, and giving
  • Analyze personal decision making when crafting a budget


teacher in front of class

Grades 9-12 is our most expansive Money Smart for Young People curriculum. It contains 22 lessons that help prepare students for the real world by discussing topics such as car purchases, financing college and home ownership.

Full Grades 9-12 Curriculum

Grades 9 - 12 Standard Alignment Chart

Due to the small screen size some information is no longer visible.
Full information available when viewed on a larger screen.

Lesson Number Lesson Title Resources Themes Learning Objectives
1 Working Hard for the Money Educator Guide (L19)
Slides (L19)
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 Educator Guide (L29)
Slides (L29)
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? Educator Guide (L39)
Slides (L39)
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 Educator Guide (L49)
Slides (L49)
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 Educator Guide (L59)
Slides (L59)
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 Educator Guide (L69)
Slides (L69)
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 Educator Guide (L79)
Slides (L79)
  • 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? Educator Guide (L89)
Handouts (L89)
Slides (L89)
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 Educator Guide (L99)
Handouts (L99)
Slides (L99)
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? Educator Guide (L109)
Handouts (L109)
Slides (L109)
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 Educator Guide (L119)
Handouts (L119)
Slides (L119)
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 Educator Guide (L129)
Handouts (L129)
Slides (L129)
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 Educator Guide (L139)
Handouts (L139)
Slides (L139)
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 Educator Guide (L149)
Handouts (L149)
Slides (L149)
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 Educator Guide (L159)
Handouts (L159)
Slides (L159)
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 Educator Guide (L169)
Handouts (L169)
Slides (L169)
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 Educator Guide (L179)
Handouts (L179)
Slides (L179)
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 Educator Guide (L189)
Handouts (L189)
Slides (L189)
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 Educator Guide (L199)
Handouts (L199)
Slides (L199)
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 Educator Guide (L209)
Handouts (L209)
Slides (L209)
Consumer Protection
  • Explain identity theft
  • Evaluate consumer rights and protection laws
  • Demonstrate how to protect personal information
21 Launching Your Dream Educator Guide (L219)
Handouts (L219)
Slides (L219)
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 Educator Guide (L229)
Handouts (L229)
Slides (L229)
Entrepreneurship 2: Maintaining a Business
  • Understand and describe tax planning and reports
  • Debate business management strategies
  • Explain insurance choices for businesses

Parent/ Caregiver Guides

The Money Smart Parent/ Caregiver Guides summarize key lesson concepts and exists as standalone resources. These guides also offer practical activities and conversation-starters on financial topics such as saving, setting financial goals, prioritizing spending decisions, and staying safe online.

Digital Toolkit

The Digital toolkit consists of a few special activities from the MSYP Lesson plans that have been formatted for use on a computer or smart phone.

Coloring/ Activity Book

Money Smart for Elementary School Students introduces key personal finance concepts to children ages 5-8. This resource features a coloring/activity book for the students accompanied by a companion manual for use by anyone leading a discussion with a group of youngsters.

The Student Activity Book and Instructor Guide are available for immediate download (

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is prohibited from endorsing any specific organizations. Money Smart users must ensure that their publicity, advertisements, and public statements do not use the FDIC name or logo to imply that FDIC endorses their organization or its products or services.


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