This post is sponsored by Intuit
When I was little, my bank issued passport-sized books that recorded deposits and withdrawals. I loved presenting it to the teller along with money received for my birthday, Christmas, or babysitting. It was always so satisfying to see the amount in my savings account increase with each deposit and was a beginning step in learning financial literacy.
Lessons in financial literacy are essential for kids of all ages but especially high schoolers who are increasingly independent and have just a couple years left at home. With jobs of their own and expenses like gas money, cell phone bills, and gaming or shopping habits, it’s important to teach high schoolers financial literacy.
Thankfully, Intuit has free resources and activities that support financial and career-readiness. Intuit Financial Readiness resources teach high schoolers financial literacy skills that are helpful in the workplace and in life. Design for Delight Teacher Toolkits help teachers teach students the basics of design thinking in an interactive, problem-based format.
Toolkits are free, easy to use, and accessible to all teachers. Each includes a Curriculum Overview, Curriculum Orientation, and Student Activities. These free resources can be used by any teacher whether teaching in the classroom full time, through hybrid model, or via distance learning.
Here’s a look at how Intuit resources can teach high schoolers about managing personal finances and help them navigate taxes.
Practice Managing Personal Finances with Mint
It’s not easy to learn how to manage personal finances, especially for teens who may not have savings of their own. Intuit Education’s activities teach high schoolers financial literacy thanks to the ability to examine a fictional character’s savings and spending habits through 5 activities that use Mint.
Students log into Mint to look at Isaiah’s transactions, purchases, debts, savings, and credit score. His Mint persona simulates a young adult who is financially independent. As students spend more time in Mint, they will get to know more about Isaiah, his financial life, and an understanding of how Mint can be used to manage personal finances.
The five lessons require students to:
Get to Know Mint— The purpose of this activity is to give first-time users a walkthrough of the different sections of Mint.
This foundation is essential for having success in future activities. Compare Savings Accounts— This activity requires evaluating Isaiah’s savings account and habits. Then, students will evaluate other savings accounts offers and compare current interest rates.
Evaluate Credit Card Offers— In this activity, students realize Isaiah has a credit card and carries a balance with a high interest rate. They’ll explore credit card offers and select one that is best for Isaiah.
Analyze a Credit Report & Score— After completing this activity, students will understand the six components that impact a credit score and be able to explain the ways that Isaiah can improve his credit score.
Budget for Income and Expenses— The most interactive of all the Mint activities, students will first explore Isaiah’s daily spending habits and analyze trends. Then students will draw from their analysis to create a budget for Isaiah.
These hands-on project-based lessons use Mint to teach high schoolers financial literacy. Lessons require them to analyze and make suggestions for how they can help Isaiah improve his financial health. Learning about Isaiah’s transactions, purchases, debts, savings, and credit score helps high schoolers apply learning to their personal finances.
Learn about Taxes with TurboTax
In addition to learning about transactions, purchases, debts, savings, and credit scores, high schoolers can learn about taxes through simulations with TurboTax. This is incredibly helpful to teens and college students before receiving their first W-2s from employers.
Fictional profiles and sample W2s are provided for students to simulate a tax-filing experience in a fun, easy-to-digest way that uses pretend scenarios.
Here’s a look at the different sample profiles:
- Ezra Daniels— Ezra is a high school senior; he works at The Home Depot as a sales associate, approximately 10 hours per week during the school year and 30 during the summer.
- Ada Singh— Ada is a part-time college student at Linn Community College and she works at Regal Cinemas as an office assistant. Ada received this W-2 from her employer along with the 1098-T from her college. Ada also made a charitable donation this year and got a document as proof. She needs to file her taxes – something she has never done before!
- Dirk Lohani— Dirk in his 20s and working full time and living in New York. He worked part of the year for EvoTek Logistics before getting a job at Nike working as a Warehouse Coordinator. Dirk received both W2 from EvoTek Logistics and Nike and needs to file his taxes
- Karissa Rettig— Karissa is an independent adult working full-time at Banfield Pet Clinic as a veterinarian assistant. She received a W2 from her employer in January and needs to file her taxes!
While fictional, Ezra, Ada, Dirk, and Karissa’s profiles have a realness to them that helps high school and college ages identify with them for this tax simulation.
After choosing a profile, students create a fake account using TurboTax for Education.
Students start by entering information from the fictional profile.
Then they use the sample W2 to enter employer details, wages, withholdings, and deductions.
After deductions, students continue to the federal review, the last step before filing state taxes.
The Intuit Education TurboTax tool gives high school and college students important lessons in understanding a W2 and walks them through filing taxes for their fictional person.
The estimated time for these interactive activities is 30-45 minutes. This also includes the time to connect to TurboTax and print or save the tax return, an important step in record-keeping.
Empower Future Entrepreneurs with Design for Delight
The way we work is changing. Staying current is getting harder. Providing students with in-demand and transferable skills like design thinking and QuickBooks can help them rise to the top of any hiring pool.
Design thinking has become a powerful business language used by many of the world’s most admired companies. It promotes complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and other skills highlighted in the World Economic Forum’s Future Jobs Report.
It’s why Coursera lists design thinking as the most in-demand business skill for 2020.
Through Intuit’s Design for Delight, students learn to solve real issues and tackle the complex problems life will throw at them. The curriculum builds essential social emotional learning (SEL) traits such as leadership, collaboration, teamwork, decision-making and optimistic thinking that will stick with students as they forge the life of their dreams.
The Design for Delight Toolkit helps jumpstart innovation.
The Toolkit is a set of free downloadable files that are designed to help teach students the basics of design thinking in an interactive, problem-based format. It includes Core Instructional Materials, Teacher Deck presentation slides and Teacher Deck Notes for how to present slides, 5 Design for Delight Worksheets, and supplemental instructional materials such as posters, brainstorming cards, and method cards.
Best suited for eighth grade and up, the Toolkit lets you choose materials for a customizable intro to design thinking, for longer-term projects, or both.
This program also incorporates QuickBooks into classroom curriculum. This allows students to learn how to run businesses by actually running businesses. From tracking income and expenses to creating reports, they’ll learn real-world business skills. This curriculum gives them experience using a real-world tool to power future prosperity, whether they choose to work for another company or start their own business.
I love that Intuit has created relevant real-world learning experiences for today’s teens that support financial and career-readiness in the next generation. Intuit QuickBooks and Design for Delight Teacher Toolkits are free, easy to use, and accessible to all teachers.
Using Mint, TurboTax, and QuickBooks in the classroom gives today’s high schoolers and college students the ability to solve real world issues. The free resources for teachers and relevant activities for students are important lessons that lead to lifelong skills.