Course Syllabus: Economics and Financial Literacy
Theme: This course explores the fundamentals that guide individuals and nations as they make choices about how to use limited resources to satisfy their wants. More specifically, it examines the ability of individuals to use knowledge and skills to manage limited financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial security.
TOPIC: ECONOMIC DECISION MAKING AND SKILLS Economic decision making relies on the analysis of data. Economists use data to explain trends and decide among economic alternatives. Individuals use data to determine the condition of their finances and to make savings and investment decisions.
1. Economists analyze multiple sources of data to predict trends, make inferences and arrive at conclusions.
2. Reading financial reports (bank statements, stock market reports, mutual fund statements) enables individuals to make and analyze decisions about personal finances.
TOPIC: FUNDAMENTALS OF ECONOMICS Productive resources are limited and allocated in a variety of different ways. An efficient way to allocate productive resources is through markets.
3. People cannot have all the goods and services they want and, as a result, must choose some things and give up others.
4. Different economic systems (traditional, market, command, and mixed) utilize different methods to allocate limited resources.
5. Markets exist when consumers and producers interact. When supply or demand changes, market prices adjust. Those adjustments send signals and provide incentives to consumers and producers to change their own decisions.
6. Competition among sellers lowers costs and prices, and encourages producers to produce more of what consumers are willing and able to buy. Competition among buyers increases prices and allocates goods and services to those people who are willing and able to pay the most for them.
TOPIC: GOVERNMENT AND THE ECONOMY The health of a nation’s economy is influenced by governmental policy. Fiscal policy can be used to spur economic growth. Monetary policy can be used to moderate fluctuations in the business cycle.
7. A nation’s overall level of economic well-being is determined by the interaction of spending and production decisions made by all households, firms, government agencies and others in the economy. Economic wellbeing can be assessed by analyzing economic indicators gathered by the government.
8. Economic policy decisions made by governments result in both intended and unintended consequences.
TOPIC: GLOBAL ECONOMY Global issues and events influence economic activities.
9. When regions and nations use comparative advantage to produce at the lowest cost and then trade with others, production, consumption and interdependence increase.
10. Government actions, such as tariffs, quotas, subsidies, trade agreements and membership in multinational economic organizations, significantly impact international trade.
TOPIC: WORKING AND EARNING Employment provides a means of creating personal income.
11. Income is determined by many factors including individual skills and abilities, work ethic and market conditions.
12. Employee earning statements include information about gross wages, benefits, taxes and other deductions.
TOPIC: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND MONEY MANAGEMENT Responsible personal finance decisions are based upon reliable information and used to reach personal goals.
13. Financial decision-making involves considering alternatives by examining costs and benefits.
14. A personal financial plan includes financial goals and a budget, including spending on goods and services, savings and investments, insurance and philanthropy.
15. Different payment methods have advantages and disadvantages.
TOPIC: SAVING AND INVESTING Saving and investing strategies help individuals achieve personal financial goals.
16. Saving and investing help to build wealth.
17. Savings can serve as a buffer against economic hardship.
18. Different costs and benefits are associated with saving and investing alternatives.
19. Banks, brokerages and insurance companies provide access to investments such as certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds and mutual funds.
TOPIC: CREDIT AND DEBT Credit and debt can be used to achieve personal financial goals.
20. There are costs and benefits associated with various sources of credit available from different types of financial institutions.
21. Credit and debt can be managed to maintain credit worthiness.
22. Consumer protection laws provide financial safeguards.
TOPIC: RISK MANAGEMENT There are various strategies to help protect personal assets and wealth.
23. Property and liability insurance protect against risks associated with use of property.
24. Health, disability and life insurance protect against risks associated with increased expenses and loss of income.
25. Steps can be taken to safeguard one’s personal financial information and reduce the risk of loss.