Free Online Course to Teach Teenagers Money Management Skills

Over 15,000 students in all 50 states and several countries are enrolled to use MoneySKILL ( ), a free, online personal finance curriculum from the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF) that's aimed at the millions of high school students who graduate each year without understanding credit use, budgeting, retirement or other money management basics.

Since it was introduced in March 2004, MoneySKILL has received many positive comments from teachers who find it makes the learning process more enjoyable by providing hands-on exercises and activities, said Susie Irvine, AFSAEF president and chief executive officer. Over 2,000 teachers have registered to use the program in their classrooms.

"The Web is the perfect tool for delivery of this kind of course," said Irvine. "We set out to design a program that's in sync with the way students learn today and allows for simple integration in schools."

The course consists of 34 modules that students complete in about 40 minutes each. Within the course's general content areas - which include income, expenses, assets, liabilities and risk management - students learn such fundamentals as the effect of income taxes on take-home pay, using credit cards, how buying a car compares with leasing one, understanding different types of insurance and the costs and benefits of borrowing, to name a few. The curriculum's author is Dr. Lewis Mandell, professor of finance at State University of New York in Buffalo.

"As teachers create lessons plans for the new school year, we encourage them to use MoneySKILL," says Irvine.
Schools and other organizations interested in participating in the course can sign up by going online at

Founded in 1990 and based in Washington, D.C., AFSAEF ( develops education materials and programs to help consumers become financially literate. It is affiliated with the American Financial Services Association, a national trade association for consumer and commercial finance companies, "captive" auto finance/leasing companies, mortgage lenders, credit card issuers and other financial services firms that lend to consumers and small businesses. AFSAEF is a founding partner of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

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