Your Savings and Inflation Throughout the game, we hope you have been hitting your monthly savings target and have built up a healthy Emergency Fund. Just like a real savings account, your savings account in this game has been earning interest every month too – you might notice a few extra dollars or cents added at the end of each month. Most of you are … Continue reading Your Savings and Inflation
Understanding Your Paycheck By now, you’ve received your first few paychecks on Fridays, but do you understand everything on the pay stub? Knowing how you’re paid, and what is deducted, is important when trying to budget for the future – knowing your gross pay isn’t going to cut it! Paycheck Explorer – Click the info hotspots for more information! Earnings The left side of your … Continue reading Your Paycheck
Your Debit and Credit Cards Once you get started on progressing through your first month, you’ll notice that you have two different ways to pay for almost every expense – your Debit Card or Credit Card. Understanding the two, and how to use them, will be essential to effectively managing your budget. Your Debit Card Making a purchase with your Debit Card withdraws the purchase … Continue reading Your Debit and Credit Cards
Your Credit Score and Report You’ve probably already taken note of your Credit Score at the top of the page – hopefully this has been steadily moving up as you play: Your Credit Score is more than just a number, it is a single metric that has a huge impact on your ability to borrow, the interest rates and limits on your credit card, if … Continue reading Your Credit Score and Report
Writing A Check You get your paycheck every week of the game, but we haven’t asked you to write out a physical check yourself. These days, most transactions in a “Checking Account” come from debit cards or other direct withdraws. However, there are still some situations where you might need to write a physical check to make a payment – and you’ll need to know … Continue reading Writing Checks
Net Worth Your “Net Worth” is kept in a running tally across the top of the screen – and you probably wish it were a lot bigger! Net Worth and Loans When you apply for a loan, banks will often ask for a calculation of your net worth. If you make a list of all the things you own and their value, and then subtract … Continue reading Net Worth
Preparing For Spending Shocks “Spending Shocks” are large, irregular expenses. Spending shocks are the #1 reasons why budgets end up abandoned, and being prepared for large spending shocks is the best thing you can do to keep your personal finances healthy. There are two types of spending shocks: Budgetable and Unbudgetable. Budgetable Spending Shocks A “Budgeted” spending shock is a big expense you might only … Continue reading Preparing For Spending Shocks
Opportunity Cost “Opportunity Cost” is what needs to be given up to get something. This is different from an item’s price. Imagine you want to buy some stock – you can afford one share of either Apple (AAPL) or Alphabet, Inc. (GOOG). Your Opportunity Cost of buying one is that you cannot also buy the other, meaning you’ll miss out on any potential returns and dividends. This problem … Continue reading Opportunity Cost
Needs vs Wants For most working people who are paid a salary or given a fixed number of hours to work a week, there is not much they can do to increase their income from week to week. So, like most working Americans, the best way to manage your personal budget is by controlling your expenses. And the best way to control your expenses is … Continue reading Needs vs Wants
Mortgages – Facts and Fiction So far in the Budget Game, you have been renting an apartment. In the real world, after a few years of working in the real world you may want to buy a house or condo – and to do that you will need a Mortgage. A Mortgage is a loan you would take from a bank to purchase property. They … Continue reading Mortgages – Facts and Fiction
Managing Your Bills You’re making progress on your second month of the game – how’s your Checking Account holding up? Just like the real world, there is a lot of uncertainty with your budget. You might have been able to pay for every bill directly with your Debit Card so far, but you will find yourself starting to get short on cash (especially if you’ve … Continue reading Managing Your Bills
Manage Your Credit Card Bills In some ways, credit cards are a good thing. Credit cards help us pay for things when we are low on cash, or pay for an unexpected expense. Using credit cards properly also helps us build our credit history and increase our credit score. A strong credit score helps us get lower interest rates when we got to buy a … Continue reading Manage Your Credit Card Bills
Investing in Stocks When most people think investing, they think the stock market. If you find yourself with more money in your savings account than you need for your Emergency Fund, investing in stocks might be an opportunity to get a better return on investment than your savings account interest rate. A stock is a piece of a company that you own – most investors … Continue reading Investing in Stocks
Investing in Mutual Funds and ETFs When you hear about a retirement account, or a “401k”, most individuals do not want to buy a single stock – there is a lot of risk, and it requires you to pay a lot of attention to your portfolio. Most investors saving for the long-term do not necessarily want to pay attention every day, they would rather have … Continue reading Investing in Mutual Funds and ETFs
Investing in Bonds If you are looking for a consistent return on investment without worrying about the ups and downs of the stock market, you might want to consider investing in Bonds. Bonds typically have lower returns than stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds, but have a consistent interest payment to their investors every year – usually much better than you would get with your savings … Continue reading Investing in Bonds
Insurance Basics You probably noticed that you need to pay your car insurance each month, which is usually the most a college student needs to worry about. However, as you get closer to the graduation date, there are several other types that can become important! Car Insurance If you drive a car, you MUST have car insurance by law. This is why it is the … Continue reading Insurance Basics
Income Tax Return When you get your first job and move out on your own, you will be responsible for filing your own your tax return. In the U.S., tax returns are due on April 15th of each year. The tax return is called a Form 1040. On the Form 1040, you will add up all of your sources of income and then you subtract … Continue reading Income Tax Return
Financial Institutions As you grow older and start living on your own, at some point you will need to open your own checking, account, brokerage, and retirement accounts. When you are ready to open these accounts, you need to understand the differences between the various financial institutions that offer each of these accounts so you can make the best decision for your needs. Most people … Continue reading Financial Institutions
Comparison Shopping You’ve already made dozens of spending decisions throughout the game, usually with just a few options to choose from. In the real world, you will need to spend a lot more time and effort into making sure your get the best deal! Here’s a few quick tips to get you started in the right direction. Tip 1: Focus On The Big Purchases You … Continue reading Comparison Shopping
Building Your Emergency Fund A recent survey of U.S. workers by CareerBuilder found that a whopping 78% are living paycheck to paycheck. Similarly, another recent survey by Bankrate found that 60% of Americans would NOT be able to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense. This means that most Americans don’t have enough in savings to cover an unexpected event like a trip to the dentist because … Continue reading Build Your Emergency Fund
Get to know the basics of how the stock market works! In this challenge, you will start with a $100,000 portfolio that you can invest in US stocks. The maximum you can invest in any 1 company (or stock) is 5% of your overall portfolio – or $5000. If you need any assistance getting started, check out the included videos Stocks Made Easy (stocktrak.com). Choose … Continue reading GRCTC Inter-Session Challenge
Cryptocurrency Trading What are Cryptocurrencies? Cryptocurrencies come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them are designed to be like a form of “digital gold”, like Bitcoin. Others, like Ethereum are designed to be programable money. There are many different use cases for these “digital assets”. In general, cryptocurrencies are a form of digital money that is secured by the highest level of cryptography. Cryptocurrencies … Continue reading 8-09 Cryptocurrency Trading
How Do Bonds Work? A bond is an IOU. Governments and businesses can raise money for their projects by requesting money from investors. The organizations who raise money through bonds are called bond issuers. The groups or individuals who provide the money are called bond buyers, or bond holders. The bond buyer lends money to the bond issuer who agrees to pay them back on … Continue reading How Do Bonds Work?
How to Build a Portfolio Pop Quiz
Why do people invest in the stock market? Most people put their savings in the bank. A lot of people want their money to grow more than what is possible by keeping it in the bank. That is why they choose to invest their money. Some of the options are to buy land, buildings, stocks, bonds or gold. Over the last 50 years, the one … Continue reading Why do people invest in the stock market?
Why do people invest in stocks? Once you have a budget and saved up your emergency savings fund, you will start to have extra savings that go towards your future. Most people put their savings in the bank. Banks usually pay interest on the cash in your account, so if you have $1000 in your savings account and the bank pays you 1% interest, at … Continue reading Why do people invest in stocks?
ETFs Made Easy Pop Quiz
Do you teach personal finance, business, or social studies? Discover why the Budget Game, Stock Game and our Learning Library of assignments and lesson plans will transform how you teach financial literacy. And make teaching more fun, curriculum planning easy, and improve student engagement! Download the Teacher Packet Brochure, click here. Budget Game Students learn how to build an emergency savings fund while balancing their … Continue reading PersonalFinanceLab | Personal Finance and Business Education Gamified
StockTrak has been the global leader of virtual stock market simulations for over 30 years. We provide a virtual platform for professors to teach financial literacy to their students enrolled in university or college classes. Investment professors, don’t let your students miss out on this fantastic learning opportunity. Last year, we had 8000 students registered across our properties. We know how to provide the tools … Continue reading StockTrak | Finance Education Gamified
What Is TD Bank’s Virtual Stock Market Simulation? It is a portfolio simulation tool for students to get familiar with real market data, buying and selling securities, and managing a portfolio in a controlled environment. Teachers or Instructors can set up a class by defining the “class rules” – what types of securities can be traded (stocks, options, mutual funds, etc.), how much starting cash … Continue reading Student User Guide
Welcome to TD Bank’s Stock Game! This resource packet has everything you need to successfully use our Stock Game in your class; whether it’s remote or in person. Logging In Once you have your account, you can log in directly at TD Bank Virtual Stock Market Game – just click “Login” at the top left of the page. Teachers and students use the same button … Continue reading Instructor User Guide
What is a stock? Part ownership of a business Example: lemonade stand You and your friend each put in $5 to start the business ($10 total)—you each own half of the business Shares might cost $5 each—you each own one share; or maybe $1—you each own 5 shares What determines the price of a stock?? In the lemonade stand example you and your friend each … Continue reading Assignment 1: Get Started
For each of the stocks you now own do the following: 1. What is the company’s industry? Will the industry do well in the current economy? Airlines, restaurants, and entertainment stocks are doing poorly due to COVID These stocks should recover as the economy gets going after COVID Internet stocks have done well during COVID Zoom, Amazon, Walmart (online sales are growing), etc. 2. Look … Continue reading Assignment 2: You are in the game. Now what?
For each of the stocks you now own do the following: 1. What is the company’s industry? Will the industry do well in the current economy? Airlines, restaurants, and entertainment stocks are doing poorly due to COVID These stocks should recover as the economy gets going after COVID. These stocks should recover as the economy gets going after COVID Internet stocks have done well during … Continue reading Elementary Assignment 2: You are in the game. Now what?
What is a stock? Part ownership of a business, like you and a friend having a lemonade stand. You would each own half of the stand and split the income. What determines a stock price? Stock prices are based on how much money investors think the company will make. If you were buying a lemonade stand Would you pay $20 for a lemonade stand you … Continue reading Elementary Assignment 1: Get Started