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How to Prepare Teens to Handle Real Life Personal Finances

How to Prepare Teens to Handle Real Life Personal Finances

I was given free access to the curriculum for review purposes, and compensation for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.

If you ask adults what class they think needs to be taught in high school, personal finance gets mentioned often. Thankfully, it is becoming a more popular offering for both public high schoolers and home schoolers as we all have to deal with money or the lack of it throughout our life. 

But, most classes like this don't look too far into the future. They cover college and maybe a few years after assuming kids are going to apply the principles they learned to the future. Maybe some kids do, but what better teacher than to work through many of life's milestones and see what the future you are planning could really look like. It certainly makes a much bigger impact, and Beyond Personal Finance does just that.

Beyond Personal Finance

Beyond Personal Finance doesn't stop a few years after college. It continues through age 42. It shows the kids how their career choices, college choices, and spending choices affect their lives. 

Before we get into the content, let's take a look at the actual set up of the curriculum. 

Beyond Personal Finance Details

  • ages 13 and up
  • online
  • self-paced
  • separate parent and student portals
  • student workbook

Beyond Personal Finance is intended for kids ages 13 and up. Because they are looking at life from ages 22-42, these kids need to be thinking about the future already to get the most out of the curriculum. No worries if you have a kiddo younger than that; the same company offers Before Personal Finance for the 8-12 year-old crowd. 

Beyond Personal Finance is an online curriculum with a workbook component. You have to have internet to watch the teaching videos. The have several Google Sheets to utilize as well for budgeting and competing other assignments. These can be printed out to work on, but you will use the built in calculation mechanism. Of course they could be filled in offline and then inputted at a later time as well. 

Teaching kids to manage money with Beyond Personal Finance

This is a self-paced curriculum which I love because it offers more flexibility. This is especially useful if you have a teenager with a lot of extracurricular activities or a part-time job to work around. Also, it is intended to be a single semester class, but you do get access to the videos for a full year. 

Beyond Personal Finance does have a separate portal for parents and students. The parent portal contains all the information you need to help your student along with the curriculum even if you have no formal knowledge of the material. The student portal has only the videos and other information the students need to complete the assignments. 

The student also has a workbook designed to enhance he video learning. It is laid out in a graphically appealing manner with  eye-catching pages that draw the teenager's interest. It provides tangible help to complete the homework although much of the budgeting is done in Google Sheets. 

Practice managing money through age 42

Subjects in Beyond Personal Finance?

  • College and Careers
  • Budgets
  • Major Purchases (car, house)
  • Milestones (marriage, baby)
  • Credit
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Retirement
  • More!

Beyond Personal Finance is very thorough with the variety of situations it puts your teen through when learning about handling money. You start out with a interest profile and choose a career. This is where you begin planning as you will have to take into account accumulated debt from college if your desired  career requires it (my daughter's choice did). 

Teens can learn good money management

You research the college you intend to attend to estimate costs as well as the career you choose to get a salary estimate. 

And then you budget, and budget, and budget. Each year from ages 22-42 brings a new situation (whether good or bad) that can throw a wrench into your future plans. And each year you make a new budget to figure out how to deal with this new situation. 

My daughter finished her first attempt at a budget, looked up and said, "It's negative." There's a real life lesson, now she'll refigure. And she will continue to come up against those real life lessons through the curriculum. 

Practice budgets with Beyond Personal Finance

They have included big milestones like marriage as well as small ones like owning a pet. They also address negative things like layoffs and divorce. 

Pluses to Beyond Personal Finance

There are a couple things that stood out to my teenager as pluses for Beyond Personal Finance as a finance curriculum. First, she was happy to see the videos were on the shorter side, only 20-30 minutes. This is great for kids who have shorter attention spans.

The other thing she really enjoyed is the fact that it uses real life examples and situations. This makes Beyond Personal Finance more applicable to teenagers lives and therefore more relevant (and more memorable) to them. 

Real life money practice with Beyond Personal Finance

I think having a whole life in front of you on paper to manipulate and see the results of your choices prior to living it is an amazing experience. Teenagers can see how choices they make at various points in their lives directly impact their future, and that is powerful when it comes to making sound financial decisions. 

Be sure to check out Beyond Personal Finance for your teenager, or Before Personal Finance to get your tween started managing their money well today! 

Prepare kids to handle money well

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