Financial Literacy Month

Post Campaign Round Up: #MySavingsStory


Natalie Zfat Headshot 1 300x300 Post Campaign Round Up: #MySavingsStoryLast month was Financial Literacy Month and we teamed up with social media entrepreneur, Natalie Zfat on the #MySavingsStory video campaign.

Throughout the entire month of April, we shared personal video stories from writers, artists and economists to inform and inspire kids to understand and take control of their financial lives.

We received savings advice from fashion designer Elie Tahari, best-selling author of Diary of A Wimpy KidJeff Kinney, entrepreneur Rosie Pope, President of the Richmond Fed, Jeffrey Lacker and others who shared what they’ve learned about the importance of financial literacy and saving.

Read Natalie’s post about the campaign and make sure to check out the compilation video with all the great advice!

POSTED: May 13, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

2016 Semi-Finalists: National Economics Challenge


Thousands of high school students nationwide competed in the National Economics Challenge! We are delighted to share with you the 34 teams from the Adam Smith Division and 33 teams from the David Ricardo Division who have made it to the semi-finals.

State Adam Smith Division David Ricardo Division
Alabama Vestavia Hills High School Eufaula High School
Arizona Basis Chandler Basis Scottsdale
Arkansas Little Rock Christian Academy Har-Ber High School
California Northern California – The Harker School Northern California Homestead High School
California Southern California – Dos Pueblos High School Southern California – El Segundo High School
Connecticut Choate Rosemary Hall Greenwich High School
Delaware The Charter School of Wilmington Smyrna High School
Florida Pine Crest School Mandarin High School
Georgia Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Jackson County Comprehensive High School
Hawaii Iolani School Iolani School
Illinois York Community High School
Indiana Carmel High School Carmel High School
Kansas Shawnee Mission South High Southeast High School
Maryland Mt. Hebron High Mt. Hebron High
Massachusetts Phillips Academy Andover Lexington High School
Michigan Chelsea High School Novi High School
Mississippi Ocean Springs High School Petal High School
Missouri Lindbergh High School St. Joseph Central
Minnesota TBA TBA
Montana Bozeman High School Park High School
Nebraska Bellevue East High School Waverly High School
New Jersey Monroe Township High School High School North
New York Stuyvesant High School Farmingdale Senior High School
North Carolina William G. Enloe High School North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
North Dakota Fargo Davies High School Jamestown High School
Oklahoma Edmond North High School Wilburton High School
Pennsylvania Conestoga High School Team 6 Upper Dublin High School
South Carolina Wando High School Ridgeview High School
Tennessee Collierville High School Memphis University School
Texas Bellaire High School James E. Taylor High School
Vermont Essex High School Mount Mansfield Union High School
Virginia Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Freedom High School
WILDCARD Upper Arlington High School Olympia High School
Wisconsin Germantown High School Melrose-Minforo


The teams will now compete in the semi-finals for a chance to advance to final round which will be held in New York City! Four teams from each Division with the highest scores will advance to compete for the grand prize and be crowned the National Economics Challenge Champions.

Thank you to all the students and their coaches who participated in the first round of competitions. We hope this was a valuable experience to all of you. And, good luck to the semi-finalists!

To learn more about the National Economics Challenge and keep tab on the finalists, please visit our site:

POSTED: April 20, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , ,

Personal Finance Is A Lot Like Relationships


Matt Gherman photo Personal Finance Is A Lot Like RelationshipsWritten by: Matthew Gherman 11/12th Grade Teacher of AP Economics, American History, ELL Global History at Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY. Matthew received the 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Award.


Personal finance is a lot like relationships. They’re both taboo subjects in which everyone professes their advice and expertise, but in reality each is a very imprecise science. For high school students, these two topics are numbers one and two in terms of their curiosity (personal finance is probably a distant, but strong, second place). The curiosity and eagerness that surround this topic are what makes it fun to teach.  Students are familiar with many of the terms: interest rates, stocks, bonds, checking account, credit cards, credit score; yet there is so much room for exploration and enlightenment. For both finance and relationships there is wisdom that would be helpful to know at the age of 18, but is only earned from life experience. Therefore, the best approach to teaching the subject incorporates knowledge learned by trial and error, paving the road for the next generation.

Also at the age of 18, these are topics that might seem far away, but really they are much closer and include situations that students need to be ready for.  Students need to understand that their credit score is their life GPA, and they need to start building it now and learning how to build it now.  At 18, they can open up an investment account and learn how to begin to grow their money at a rate faster than a savings account. They need to begin building that big savings for important purchases that will all possibly come within a decade: college, car, apartment, engagement ring, marriage, home and children.  Many of these are concepts that they probably shrug at as “not my problem now,” but that decade goes by fast, and with it a lot of missed opportunity to improve their futures. The savings and investing which will make each stage of their lives easier starts at 18 (or even earlier) and the teacher is the provider of all of this information. The questions and enthusiasm that they bring to class enhance the teaching experience exponentially.

The ease with which these topics can be differentiated is also a great selling point for teaching it. Depending on student strengths, your lessons can range from just reviewing the basics to dissecting and debating scholarly articles and evaluating political implications. There is also opportunity for independent research, web-quests and presentation projects which add a different flavor to the class.  Additionally, teachers aren’t limited by being shackled to a state test at the end of the year. This subject allows creativity for both teachers and students.

Personal finance is strongly connected to the civic responsibility of voting. So many times politics is reduced to sound bites, preying on an uneducated class of voters. There are many social political issues that are shades of gray and fun to debate, but ultimately, the questions all students should have on their minds are what does the government do with our money and what are the implications of government actions on our wages, healthcare, investments, mortgages, and income taxes. Teaching personal finance creates a better informed and responsible citizenry.

The most important aspect of teaching personal finance is that these are life skills. This is the most useful course that students will take in high school because it will help them to be college ready, career ready, and life ready.

POSTED: April 5, 2016 | BY: April Somboun | TAGS: , , , , , ,

CEE Launches #MySavingsStory Campaign to Celebrate Financial Literacy Month


CEE FLM 440x220 ALL R1 CEE Launches #MySavingsStory Campaign to Celebrate Financial Literacy Month


Happy Financial Literacy Month!

The Council for Economic Education (CEE) is thrilled to announce the launch of the #MySavingsStory Video Campaign to inform and inspire kids to understand and take control of their financial lives. We’ve enlisted fashion designer Elie Tahari, best-selling author of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Jeff Kinney, entrepreneur Rosie Pope, and others to share, via videos, what they’ve learned about the importance of financial literacy and saving.

Below you will find the names of those involved and dates when their videos will be released throughout Financial Literacy Month. Make sure to check our Facebook page to watch their #MySavingsStory videos and hear their personal finance stories and savings advice firsthand!

We are so grateful to all who have joined the cause:

  •  April 1: Rosie Pope, Entrepreneur
  • April 3: Brian Kelly, The Points Guy, Entrepreneur and Blogger
  • April 6: Melissa Giannini, Editor-in-Chief, Nylon Magazine
  • April 8: Noelle Scaggs, Fitz and The Tantrums Vocalist
  • April 10: Natalie Zfat, Social Media Entrepreneur
  • April 13: Nan J. Morrison, President & CEO, Council for Economic Education
  • April 16: John Dioso, Executive Director of Editorial Operations, Glamour Magazine
  • April 18: Jeff Kinney, Author, Diary of A Wimpy Kid
  • April 20: Elie Tahari, Fashion Designer
  • April 22: Mona Patel, CEO & Founder, Motivate Design
  • April 23: Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Distinguished Scholar and Professor of Economics and Accountancy, George Washington School of Business
  • April 24: Dan Kadlec, Journalist, Time Magazine
  • April 26: Veeral Rathod, CEO & Founder, J. Hilburn
  • April 28: Kelli Grant, Consumer Reporter,
  • April 30: Jeff Lacker, American Economist and President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Through these personal stories, we hope to demonstrate how critically important financial literacy is for our nation’s students.

Also, we encourage you to share your own #MySavingsStory with us! You can do so by creating your own video (60 seconds or less) or by posting a personal finance story/lesson to your Facebook page and/or blog. Make sure to use the #MySavingsStory hashtag when sharing and tweet us at @council4econed so, we can further spread your story.

View Press Release.

POSTED: April 1, 2016 | BY: April Somboun

How Much Does the U.S. Tax System Shrink the Gap between Rich and Poor?

David Wessel How Much Does the U.S. Tax System Shrink the Gap between Rich and Poor?

By David Wessel, Director, The Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Brookings


Financial literacy is a key component of our mission at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy, where we focus not just on improving policy, but on improving public understanding of fiscal and monetary issues. Part of what we do is explain how and why complex financial questions are relevant to a broad audience, not just policy wonks.

So it’s fitting that Financial Literacy month is also home to Tax Day, that April 15 deadline for filing tax returns. There’s a lot of focus these days on the widening gap between the top and the bottom in the U.S. economy. It’s a good time to ponder a very simple question: How much does the U.S. tax system shrink the gap between rich and poor?

Now you can tell this story long or you can tell it short. And you can tell it with tables of numbers, charts and graphs—or you can tell with Legos.

To explain how much the U.S. tax code evens out the distribution of income, we’ve made a 3-minute video—with Lego bricks—that illustrates just how unequal the U.S. is before taxes and how much (or how little, depending on your perspective) the tax code changes that.

Watch for yourself, but here are a few of the basic facts:

The average before-tax income of the top 20% of the population in 2014 was $306,320, according to estimates by our friends at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. That’s more than 21 times the average income ($13,809) of those in the bottom 20%, or quintile (as economists put it).

And after federal taxes—income taxes, payroll taxes, etc.? Because the government takes more from best-off than from those at the bottom, the average after-tax income of the top quintile ($229,360) is about 17 times that of the bottom ($13,809). In other words, the U.S. tax system does reduce inequality, but there’s still a lot of it left after taxes.

And what about the famous 1%, the really well off?   Their income averaged slightly more than $2 million before taxes in 2014—and $1.34 million after taxes. Put differently, the before-tax income of the richest 1% was 32 times the income of the folks smack in the middle of the middle; after taxes, it was 25 times larger.

POSTED: April 29, 2015 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , ,

Money Math Mondays: Money

BTM Money Math Mondays: MoneyWelcome to our fourth and final “Money Math Monday.” We’d like to thank Bedtime Math for partnering with us during Financial Literacy Month to create fun math problems that help kids become more financially literate. This week our focus is money and how a collection of coins from all over the world can add up to some serious money. The Trevi Fountain in Rome attracts thousands of tourists every day and legend has it that people who throw coins into the fountain will have a safe return to Rome in the future. More than $3,000 in coins is collected from the fountain every day! Click here to see Bedtime Math’s problems about the coins collected in this beautiful fountain:

Check out these lessons about coins, currency and why we use money on

econedlink logo 300x71 Money Math Mondays: Money




Grades 3-5
Making Cents Out of Centimes
This lesson teaches students about the Euro and exchange rates.

Grades 6-8
Agent Pincher: P is for Penny or Where Did Money Come From?
This lesson will send your students on a mission to investigate the history of money using resources from PBS, the U.S. Mint, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Grades 6-8
What is Money? Why Does it Have Value?
In this lesson, students will think about why we have money, why it has value, and why it makes exchange easier. They will also learn about the three main functions of money (as a medium of exchange, as a unit of account, and as a store of value) and why these functions are important.

POSTED: April 27, 2015 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: ,

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