High school students get grilled on personal finance

Teams can compete in a new "Personal Finance Challenge" for Money Smart Week in Michigan.

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By Susan Tompor

We’re a month away from Money Smart Week in Michigan but high school math and economics teachers are being encouraged to gear up now when it comes to a new “Personal Finance Challenge.”

The idea is to bring a little zip to personal finance lessons that center on issues such as how to use credit wisely, pay for big ticket items, save money and invest for the future.

“Students love to compete and it brings out the best in them just as competition brings out the best in businesses,” said Derek D’Angelo, president of the Michigan Council on Economic Education, which is based at Walsh College in Troy.

D’Angelo, who is an economics teacher at Eisenhower High School in Shelby Township, said he always asks students in his class to estimate how much they think their parents spend on groceries for a month for their family. The students often have no idea, and can come up with such low-ball estimates at $200 a month.

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