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FRESHMAN COLLEGE COURSE
Introduction to the Course
1. Another Perspective on Wealth
2. Setting Personal Goals
3. Budgeting and Measuring Financial Health
4. Cash Management
5. Understanding Credit
6. Consumer and Mortgage Loans
7. Debt and Debt Reduction
8. Time Value of Money 1: Present and Future Value
9. Time Value of Money 2: Inflation, Real Returns, Annuities, and Amortized Loans
10. Investments 1: Principles
11. Investments 2: Application
12. Learning to Give
13. Decide to Decide

Introduction to the Course

Purpose

The purpose of this advanced presentation on personal finance is to help college freshmen to broaden their financial understanding and gain money management skills that will be useful throughout their college experience and for the rest of their lives. Though freshmen have varying backgrounds and levels of experience with regard to personal finance, the thirteen lessons in this course have been selected to cover a variety of topics, building a solid, advanced understanding necessary subjects. Upon the completion of this course, we hope that those who would like to further progress in their financial understanding will visit the Advanced College Course, which provides additional detail.

Please allocate between 45 minutes to an hour for each chapter reading, and an hour to watch the video. For those not doing the entire lesson in order, we recommend you first complete chapters 1, 2, and 3, and then the remaining chapters in any order.

Lesson Manual

Click here for the free online manual for these lessons (PDF).

Videos

The video for each section can be found in its respective chapter.

Another Perspective on Wealth

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand how to bring Christ more into your finances
  2. Understand our framework for learning
  3. Understand the implications of that learning framework
  4. Understand that "Life is Good"

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Another Perspective on Wealth" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter or here for the PDF slides.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 1: Building a Strong Foundation: Another Perspective on Wealth

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Another Perspective on Wealth"

Tools

Personal Financial Plan Table of Contents
PFP Introduction Template

Additional Materials

The Why's What's and How's of Personal Finance - Sudweeks and Hill 2015
Prepare, Plan, Write, Create: 12 Steps to Bringing Christ into your Personal Finances, Sudweeks, Hill, and LeBaron

Setting Personal Goals

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand the importance of planning your financial future
  2. Understand the requirements for your "Personal Financial Plan (PFP)"
  3. Understand your vision and the Vision, Mission and Values Assignment (LT38)
  4. Understand the different types of goals
  5. Understand and apply the principles of effective goal-setting.

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Creating your Personal Financial Plan and Setting Personal Goals" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the Day 02 Summary

Video

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Creating Your Personal Financial Plan and Setting Goals"

Tools

Personal Financial Plan Example A
Personal Financial Plan Example B
Personal Financial Plan Example C
Personal Financial Plan Example D
PFP Goals Section Template

Additional Materials

Vision, Mission and Values Statement Assignment - This will help you as you think through your goals
Vision, Mission and Values Statement Assignment - Example

Budgeting and Measuring Financial Health

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand the principles of successful budgeting
  2. Develop and implement a budget
  3. Calculate your net worth using a personal balance sheet
  4. Develop a personal income statement and use it to analyze your spending
  5. Introduce budgeting software

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Budgeting and Measuring Financial Health" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 3: Saving, Income and Expense Planning: Giving Every Dollar a Name

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Budgeting and Measuring Financial Health"

Tools

Simple Saving, income and Expense Plan (Budget) Spreadsheet - This is our simple budgeting spreadsheet which can be useful when setting a budget and trying to save more money. Your budget is your single most important tool to help you achieve your personal and family financial goals.

Simple Balance Sheet and Ratios - This is a simple spreadsheet to help you prepare your balance sheet and prepare your 6 financial ratios (liquidity, savings and debt) to see how you are doing financially.

Budgeting Spreadsheet with Balance Sheet and Ratios - This is a detailed budgeting spreadsheet which can be useful when setting a budget and trying to save more money.

Debt Free Spending Spreadsheet - This is a much more detailed budget and debt reduction spreadsheet. This is for the more advanced user.

PFP Budgeting Section Template - This is the template you will use as you prepare your Saving, Income and Expense Plans as part of your Personal Financial Plan.

Cash Management

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand the principles of cash management and how it can help you achieve your goals
  2. Understand the different cash management alternatives and how to compare them
  3. Understand the different types of financial institutions, and how they can help you meet your financial goals
  4. Understand the need to spend the time each week on your finances

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Cash Management" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 6: Cash Management: Making the Little Things Count

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Cash Management"

Tools

After-Tax, ETY, and After-Inflation Returns
PFP Cash Management Template

Understanding Credit

Learning Outcomes

This section focuses on the following four objectives to help you better understand credit reports and credit cards:

  1. Understand the principles of using credit wisely
  2. Know about credit bureaus, credit reports, and your credit score
  3. Understand the correct uses of credit cards and how they can help (or hinder) you attain your financial goals
  4. Know how to manage your credit cards and open credit
  5. Know how credit cards work and the costs involved

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Understanding and Managing Credit" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 8: Credit: Understanding and Using it Wisely

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Understanding and Managing Credit"

Tools

Credit Card Repayment Spreadsheet
Debt Amortization and Prepayment Spreadsheet
Debt Elimination Schedule with Accelerator
PFP Credit Cards Template

Additional Links

AnnualCreditReport.com
MyFICO.com

Consumer and Mortgage Loans

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand the principles of effective consumer loads use
  2. Understand the types of consumer loans, their characteristics, and how to calculate their costs
  3. Understand the types of mortgage loans, their characteristics, and how to calculate their costs.
  4. Know the least expensive types of loans and how to reduce the cost of consumer and mortgage loans

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Consumer and Mortgage Loans" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary


Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 9: Loans: Avoiding Consumer and Minimizing Student/Mortgage Loans

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Consumer and Mortgage Loans"

Tools

Debt Amortization and Prepayment Spreadsheet
Credit Card Repayment Spreadsheet
Debt Elimination Spreadsheet with Accelerator
PFP Student and Consumer Loans and Debt Reduction Template

Additional Links

The Mortgage Professor
Bankrate

Debt and Debt Reduction

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand the principles of using debt wisely
  2. Understand the "debt cycle" and why people go into debt.
  3. Understand how to develop and use personal debt reduction strategies
  4. Know where to go for help if you get too far in debt

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Debt and Debt Reduction" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 4: Debt: Avoiding Debt Like the Plague

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Debt and Debt Reduction"

Tools

PFP Student and Consumer Loans - Debt Reduction Template
Debt Elimination Spreadsheet with Accelerator
Debt Amortization and Prepayment Spreadsheet
Credit Card Repayment Spreadsheet

Time Value of Money 1: Present and Future Value

NOTE: Information for this chapter is included as part of the video used in the chapter on Debt and Debt Reduction.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you will:

  1. Understand the importance of compound interest and time.
  2. Pass an un-graded assessment test with 9 problems

I strongly recommend that you use a computer with Excel (or equivalent program) or borrow or purchase a financial calculator to help you complete these two time value of money sections. Although you can do many of the calculations discussed in this section on a standard calculator, the calculations are much easier to do on a financial calculator. If you have a computer with Excel, you can use Learning Tool 12: An Excel Based Financial Calculator, which is a spreadsheet-based financial calculator freely available on this website. The functions you will need for calculations are also available in other spreadsheet programs. Calculators like the Texas Instruments (TI) Business Analyst II, TI 35 Solar, or Hewlett Packard 10BII can be purchased for under $35 and can be helpful.

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Time Value of Money 1: Present and Future Value" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Time Value of Money 1: Present and Future Value"

Tools

Financial Calculator Tutorial
An Excel Based Financial Calculator

Time Value of Money 2: Inflation, Real Returns, Annuities, and Amortized Loans

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this chapter, you should be able to:

  1. Explain how inflation impacts your investments.
  2. Calculate real returns after inflation.
  3. Solve problems related to annuities.
  4. Solve problems related to amortized loans.

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Time Value of Money 2: Inflation, Real Returns, Annuities, and Amortized Loans" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Time Value of Money 2: Inflation, Real Returns, Annuities, and Amortized Loans"

Tools

Financial Calculator Tutorial
An Excel Based Financial Calculator

Investments 1: Principles

Learning Outcomes

There are two objectives for this section:

  1. Recognize the Ten Principles of Successful Investing
  2. Understand the Investment Hourglass

Properly prepare yourself to invest and understand what you will be investing in before you begin your investment program; these are important keys to success.

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Investments 1: Beginning Investing - Principles" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation for this chapter.

Video

We are currently preparing the video for this chapter.

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Investments 1: Beginning Investing - Principles"

Tools

A Risk-Tolerance Test
Key Questions on Money in the Family

Additional Links

A Banker's Dozen: Guidelines for Wise Investing
Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence

Investments 2: Application Lesson

Learning Outcomes

There are three objectives for this section:

  1. Understand and Use the Priority of Money
  2. Understand the Risks and Benefits of the Major Asset Classes
  3. Understand the Risk and Return History of the Major Asset Classes

Properly prepare yourself to invest and understand what you will be investing in before you begin your investment program; these are important keys to success.

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Investments 2: Beginning Investing - Application" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the slide presentation for this chapter

Video

We are currently preparing the video for this chapter.

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Investments 2: Beginning Investing - Application"

Tools

Investment Plan Example
Risk-Tolerance Test
Roth Versus Traditional: Which is Better?
Return Simulation Spreadsheet
Expected Return Simulation and Benchmarks

Additional Links

A Banker's Dozen: Guidelines for Wise Investing
Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence

Learning to Give

Learning Outcomes

This section focuses on the following four questions to help you understand the principle of learning to give:

  1. Understand the five myths of giving
  2. Understand what the scriptures say about money and giving
  3. Understand the principles of wise giving
  4. Understand why we should give
  5. Understand the basics of wise giving
  6. Understand how to create your individual/family giving plan

Because God shares freely with us, we should be willing to share freely with God’s other children. From another perspective, learning to give is an important part of personal finance.

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Conclusions 1: Learning to Give" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 27: Learning to Give

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Conclusions 1: Learning to Give"

Tools

Tithing Share Transfer Example

Decide to Decide

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed this section, you should be able to do the following:

  1. A look back at the class
  2. Understand the key decisions you should make to be truly successful in life
  3. Review a list of recommended readings for further information on personal finance

You can make important decisions now that you will never have to question again. From the inspired words of President Kimball, “decide to decide!”

Chapter Reading

Please read the chapter on "Conclusions 2: Decide to Decide" (PDF)

Slide Presentation

Please click here for the PowerPoint slide presentation (PPT) for this chapter, or here for the slides as a PDF.

Class Summary

Please click here for the course summary

Video

Day 28: Decide to Decide

Terminology

Please click here for the course terminology

Assignments

Here are the assignments for "Another Perspective on Wealth"