Personal Financial Management

These personal finance modules were created to fit into the updated Arkansas economics standards with a focus on personal financial management and financial literacy. Each module provides lesson plans, hands-on activities, and other materials to assist Arkansas teachers in teaching these standards in their classrooms.

Credit, Lending, and Debt

Many people use credit on a daily basis. Some use credit for daily purchases like gas and groceries while others use credit to buy houses, boats, cars and other big-ticket items that they may not have enough money to pay for all at once. This module explores best practices for maintaining healthy credit and avoiding credit-damaging debt. Some guiding questions for this module are:

What is credit and how do I use it?

What types of credit are available to me? What are the differences between the available options?

How do I afford large-ticket items?

What makes a credit score “good” or “bad?”

What do I do if I get into debt?

What protections are available to me as a consumer?

Building Wealth

Every year Forbes magazine compiles a list of the wealthiest people in America. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett all appear at the top of the list year after year. So how did these people build wealth? They all started their own businesses and amassed great fortunes by providing a product or service in high demand. While most of us will never achieve this level of wealth, we can all create enough wealth over time to live very comfortably in retirement. Using savvy saving strategies, many of us have the ability to become millionaires. Some guiding questions for this module are:

What are ways I can save money?

What services do financial markets offer to savers?

How does the money I’m saving grow over time?

What types of things should I be saving money for?

How are financial markets regulated?

Mastering Interest Rates

When we think of interest rates, we may begin to get anxious because the topic seems difficult to understand. But really, the concept is simple. Interest can be defined as rent on money. Paying interest when you borrow money for some period is similar to paying rent to use an apartment for some period. When you no longer need the money, you return it to the owner. You usually pay the interest plus a fraction of the principal each month for several months or years. While you pay interest if you borrow money, you can also earn interest if you loan money. In other words, you can be a borrower or a saver. This module explores how interest rates affect us in our daily lives. Some guiding questions for this module are:

How do I calculate an interest rate?

How does interest work on credit cards?

How does interest work on savings accounts?

How do rising and falling interest rates affect me?

The personal finance module collection is based on the Arkansas state economics standards, which can be found here: