FDIC Money Smart for Young Adults

Building:  Knowledge, Security, Confidence

Grade 7–12 age range, including middle school, junior high, and high school students.

Purpose of the program

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) recognizes the importance of financial education for everyone, including young adults who are about to begin, or who have just begun, their independent financial lives. The Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum was created to help young adults learn the basics of handling their money and finances, including how to create positive relationships with financial institutions. The curriculum consists of materials, activities, and content geared towards the high school audience. Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals and for entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to make informed decisions on money matters where a wrong decision could result in years of financial pain, save money, and improve their financial health and well-being. The Money Smart for Young Adults helps younger individuals build financial knowledge, develop financial confidence, become more money savvy, and use banking services effectively.


Each Module Includes:

Participant Guide (Download)

  • Instructions you will need to complete the exercises.
  • Checklists and tip sheets related to the module content.
  • A glossary of the terms used in this module.
  • Resources for you to investigate after the class.

PowerPoint Slides (Download) 
Use along with the Participant Guide

Your guides

Some students from Lakeview High are going to be your guides in this lesson. Join them throughout the modules in working through some financial situations of their own



Ramón was born in the U.S. but his parents are from Peru; they came here when they were teenagers themselves. Ramón is 18 and preparing to graduate from Lakeview High School. He will be attending college on a soccer scholarship to study mechanical engineering since his dream job is to work for NASA. Ramón has a little sister and an older brother who is a pilot in the Air Force. He likes to take his girlfriend to the movies or to play mini golf with money he earns repairing computers.



Grace is an artistic student who wants to go to Fashion Design School after she graduates high school, but her parents want her to go to college. She doesn’t really fit into the “high school scene,” but the teachers really see potential in her to do great things. She works at a clothing store at the mall and spends the rest of her time on her fashion sketches. Since her parents are totally against Grace going to Fashion Design School, she is very careful with her money so she can continue to buy design supplies.



Todd, a sophomore at Lakeview High School, is shy with a very sarcastic sense of humor. He is always avoiding social situations because he comes from a lower-income family and cannot afford to do the things the other teens are doing. He is very intelligent and is planning to attend college, but he is not sure how he will pay for it or where he will go. Todd works two part-time jobs at a fast food restaurant and the local grocery store and is saving all he can for college.



Jasmine is an 11th-grade student at Lakeview High School. Her activities include hanging out with friends, going
shopping, and collecting teddy bears. In school, her favorite subject is English and she also swims on the swim team. She works part-time on the weekends around the holidays in her aunt’s gift shop nearby and has a younger brother named Dominique. Jasmine wants to go to college in-state and plans to be an exercise physiologist.


Module I: Bank On It

An introduction to bank services

Module II: Check It Out

How to keep track of your money

Module III: Setting Financial Goals

How to keep track of your money

Module IV: One: Pay Yourself First

Why you should save, save, save

Module V: Borrowing Basics

An introduction to credit

Module VI: Charge It Right

How to make a credit card work for you

Module VII: Paying for College and Cars

Know what you are borrowing before you buy

Module VIII: A Roof Over Your Head

What home ownership and renting are all about