Opportunity is everywhere.
Whether you’re looking for your next career move, a new idea to inspire a book or piece of art, or the chance to do, well, just about anything else, if you can reframe your thoughts, you can find an opportunity in just about any situation even if you’re teaching high school or college students about money and finances!
For teachers, it may seem tricky to try and find ways to relate money to teenagers’ daily lives. But there are ways to weave money lessons into other topics or subjects — it’s all a matter of getting a little creative.
Seriously, think of it this way: Our finances are a lot like our health. We can make goals to gain or lose weight (increase our savings or stop spending so much, for parallels), build muscle (invest for the future), or maybe cook healthy meals for others (paying taxes, perhaps?). There are parallels everywhere!
Here are some ways to incorporate money lessons into other subject areas, which may help further drill financial literacy topics into students’ heads!
This one is easy: Why not relate every math problem possible to money? Obviously, this can get tricky when teaching advanced topics, like geometry, trigonometry, and so on. Still, for relatively simple equations and such, you can simply add some dollar signs into the mix to turn math problems into money problems.
Who knows? Maybe when relating stone-cold numbers to dollars and cents, students will be more engaged with the material.
Current Events/Social Studies
Another relative lay-up.
There’s enough going on in the world that’s wrapped up in or adjacent to the finance industry that money topics can be brought up. Just over the past few years, it would’ve been an easy lift to discuss the economic and financial costs of the pandemic, government responses, and the aftermath. More recently, discussions about inflation, the war in Europe, and more also have clear financial implications and potential money lessons.
We already talked about the parallels between finances and fitness. But various other types of sciences can also rope in money lessons or analogies.
Physical science and the periodic table of the elements? A chance to talk about scarcity, precious metals, and more. Biology? Our bodies conserve and spend energy and moisture, much like our wallets! Chemistry? How about the different reactions that can be produced with cash infusions?
Okay, that last one is a stretch…but it can be done!
Even if you’re teaching an art class, it’s possible to bring financial literacy into the mix. There are different types of art classes, of course, but if you are, for instance, having students paint, there are chances to teach about budgeting your resources, looking at negative space or different perspectives, and much more.
Check out the Money Vehicle textbook — you can find it here on Amazon. And if you like what you see, you can get more content sent directly to your inbox! Sign up for the Money Vehicle Movement Newsletter!
And check out our white paper: “Strategies for Increasing Financial Literacy Rates Among High School and College Students”
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