JA Personal Finance

JA Personal Finance

Students participating in JA Personal Finance recognize the fundamental elements of their personal finances: earnings, saving and investing, budgeting, credit, risk management and giving. They apply these fundamental elements to a personal financial plan that allows them to set specific goals for their lifelong financial needs and desired quality of life.

Session One: Plan to Earn

Students learn that healthy personal finances take planning and managing. They begin to analyze major life events and issues that have financial implications.


  1. Recognize the role income plays in personal finances.
  2. Evaluate the effect their educational choices have on lifetime earnings.
  3. Describe the importance of planning in making financial decisions.

Session Two: Saving for Life

Students analyze the role saving plays in their personal finances and how having a healthy savings plan is necessary in all phases of life.


  1. Recognize high-dollar items and unexpected costs that require savings.
  2. Review key concepts related to successfully saving money.

Session Three: The Budget Game

Students investigate budgeting and why many people have difficulty staying within a budget.


  1. Recognize the importance of making and keeping a spending plan.
  2. Consider the wide range of expenditures that might make up a monthly budget.

Session Four: Credit Choices

Students analyze the importance of credit and the outcomes of wise and poor use of credit.


  1. Recognize the importance of credit as part of personal finances.
  2. Express the need to make good credit decisions to avoid costly consequences.

Session Five: Savvy Consumer

Groups work together to create public service announcements (PSAs) to inform each other of risks they could face in their finances and identify ways to protect themselves from potential loss.


  1. Recognize potential risks to their personal finances.
  2. Describe appropriate preventive methods to limit potential losses.

Program Basics

  1. Includes a series of five sessions recommended for high school students.
  2. Average time for each session is 45 minutes.
  3. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.
  4. Emphasis on making money, spending money wisely through budgeting, saving and investing money, using credit cautiously and protecting one's personal finances.
  5. Session-specific, age-appropriate materials provided to increase student interaction and emphasize JA's experiential approach to learning.
  6. Correlates to state social studies, English and math standards as well as the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts.

JA Personal Finance enhances students' learning of the following concepts and skills:

  • Concepts in budget, budgeting, compound interest, consumer protection, credit, credit cards, credit reports and scores, debt, earning, education, expense, fixed expenses, fraud, identity theft, income, insurance, interest, investing, lifetime earnings, opportunity cost, personal finances, pay yourself first, principal, risk, risk management, saving money, savings, variable expenses.
  • Skills in analyzing information, categorizing data, creativity, decision making, evaluating alternatives, graphic presentation, oral, visual, and written communication, prioritizing information, read for understanding, using a timeline, working in pairs, teams, and groups.

For more information about this program, read the Program Summary.

To see how this program correlates to California State Education Standards and the Common Core Standards, click here.