Monday, September 5, 2016

Time Is Money - And Other Short Lessons on Money

The majority of the high school students that I've had over the years has been engaged by personal finance lessons. This is probably due in large part to the fact that high school age is when many students get their first real jobs. For many students that first pay check comes with excitement followed by a bit of confusion at how quickly it can all be spent. Some of them quickly realize that minimum wage isn't a livable wage. Others take a little longer to figure that out. A few years ago I created a hands-on simulation for teaching students about the difficulty of trying to survive on a minimum wage job. The activity outline can be downloaded for free from my page in the TES Marketplace.

Time Is Money is a free Chrome extension that can help you see what the expression "time is money" really means. Time Is Money will display the number of hours you would have to work in order to have enough money to purchase any product that you find listed with a price on the Internet. For example, I went to and found a couple of sweaters that I might like to buy. With the Time Is Money extension activated, the price in dollars is displayed along with the price in hours I would have to work in order to buy those sweaters. Time Is Money can be customized to be based on your hourly wage or your annual salary.

What Gives a Dollar Bill Its Value? is a nice TED-Ed lesson on the influence of the United States Federal Reserve banks on the value of currency. The lesson includes a short piece about the correlation between inflation and the overall health of the U.S. economy. The lesson is probably best suited to high school students who already have a basic understanding of how the value of currency is determined.