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Financial Foundations

Detailed Introduction to Key Financial Concepts


After more than 10 years, we have redesigned the Financial Foundations curriculum. The newly developed program is currently being piloted and will be fully launched for the 2021 - 2022 school year. CHECK OUT the new curriculum and learn more about how you can become involved in the pilot.

The Financial Foundations program is designed for high school students and adults. Financial Beginnings provides the program for free to school and participants. This is a full service program in which Financial Beginnings provides all of the materials and presenters to deliver the program. Presenters are volunteers who work in the financial industry. The curriculum is broken down into five subjects, including banking, budgeting, credit, investing, and risk management. Each of the five subjects is taught in two 1-hour classes or one 1.5-hour block period. Educators are given the flexibility to choose the subjects that fit best into their class (though most choose to have all five).

Topics Covered


Banking is important to understand because participation in banking services is typically one's first exposure to the financial world. Most often we depend on banks and credit unions to safeguard our money so it is helpful to understand what they are doing with our money and how keeping our money in a bank or credit union can be beneficial. In this section we introduce financial institutions, how they work and how students can utilize them in managing their money.

Course Objectives:

  • Be able to explain the difference between banks and credit unions
  • Understand how to choose the right bank or credit union for you
  • Understand the benefits and services that financial institutions provide
  • Understand how to avoid banking fees
  • Learn how to calculate the different types of interest


Budgeting is the foundation of personal financial planning. Budgeting allows us to manage our money by tracking our income and expenses. Since every person is different it is important to know how to create a budget that can be used for our own specific needs.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the primary components of a budget and how one can be created/ maintained
  • Understand the different types of income and how taxes apply
  • Understand how to budget for expenses and the difference between variable and fixed expenses
  • Understand how short-term and long-term financial goals are set and utilized
  • Learn tips to keeping your budget relevant


In today's economic society it would be rare to not use credit to pay for things such as online or large purchases, car repairs or in emergency situation. Credit can be an overwhelming topic, but understanding credit is critical in responsible management of one's finances. Armed with a few key concepts, however, students can successfully manage their credit in a proactive way.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand what credit is, how it works and why you need it
  • Understand the different ways of establishing credit
  • Learn your responsibilities as a borrower
  • Understand how to monitor credit using a credit report and credit score
  • Understand loans and credit cards and how to borrow responsibly


Investing is an excellent way to build wealth and achieve your financial and life goals. The Investing section of this guide and accompanying classroom session will help students to understand the key concepts of investing.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand what investments are and how they can help you to achieve your financial goals
  • Understand risk vs. return and diversification
  • Learn about common types of investments
  • Understand common options for retirement savings
  • Learn what kind of investor/saver you are and the pros and cons of each type

Risk Management

Many times individuals feel that they are paying money into insurance policies, but not getting their fair share back. This is not how insurance should be viewed. Purchasing insurance is a way to manage risk.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand what insurance is, why you need it and how it works
  • Learn what insurance premiums are and how they are determined
  • Know what liability coverage is and how it applies to auto and renters/home insurance policies
  • Be able to explain types of insurance and when they apply in real life
  • Understand insurance contracts and the major decisions that have to be made when purchasing policies

What we provide

We provide each teacher with a business professional that has been fully trained to teach the program. The volunteer is well prepared with a well-tested curriculum that meets state education standards and is designed using national best practices. We provide all students with a copy of the curriculum, and all necessary supplemental materials, which will be sent to the school directly, prior to the program. It is our job to make teachers' work easier; we handle all the details and offer a program that enhances the standards-based math and life-skills teachers are already teaching.

Contact Us for more information!

Sign up for a Foundations program here!

"I think that everyone should know what Financial Beginnings taught us because I am sure there are a lot of people out there that do not know the opportunities they could be taking." - Student Participant