Personal Finance 101
Spoiler alert: Credit cards are not free money.
Want to have a big house, five cars, and live large? We won't make any guarantees, but this course will at least marginally boost your chances of becoming so rich that you have a Bentley as your P.O.S. (piece of something-smelly) car. And it will definitely lower your chances of carrying around one of those sticks with a cloth bag on the end (unless the cloth bag holds gold bars or your secret password to the Swiss bank account).
There are certain things that smart people do with their money. We're talking:
- Avoiding Bad Debt
and buying a car, a house, and a college education without breaking the bank.
Want the good things in life? This course shows you how to get 'em.
Unit 1. Personal Finance 101
This short course contains everything Shmoop thinks you need to know about money by the time you graduate from high school. We'll cover bank accounts, credit cards, paying for college—even insurance and the basics of taxes.
Sample Lesson - Introduction
Lesson 11: It'll Cost You
You've just decided to purchase a car with a $3,000 sound system. It's got sub woofers, side speakers, the works. The key is really those sub woofers. They cost a lot, but they make all the difference.
For the $500 you have left, the used car salesman sells you an excellent car. There aren't any brakes, but no biggie: just drag your feet on the ground, Flintstone-style. Good thing you can use this baby to get to work. You'll need that paycheck to fix whatever is causing that smoke to come out the back, because despite what the salesman told you, no it is not normal.
Of course, repairs aren't all you'll pay for when you own a car. Soon you'll be selling the sub woofers and doing wheelbarrow-style construction jobs just to pay for the darn thing. Keep reading to find out how insurance, gas, and repairs add up to make car ownership another one of those privileges you pay for.
Sample Lesson - Reading
Reading 1.11: What It'll Cost You
Warning: These readings may turn you off car ownership entirely, in which case we suggest you move to Manhattan and spend the money you save by not owning a car on approximately 2 extra square feet of living space.
- When buying anything on 4 wheels, there are more costs than you think. Shmoop breaks them down here.
- Consumer Reports gives you some great graphs, charts, and whizamagigs for understanding what a car really costs to own, and ranks popular models from least to most expensive.
Kind of makes you feel like taking a walk, doesn't it?
Sample Lesson - Activity
Activity 1.11a: Car Cost Calculator
Now you know all about the general costs that go along with owning a car. But this tool gets even more specific. We just love it when stuff is specific, don't you?
Scroll down to the section labeled "See the top performers by class." You'll see cars divided by types like compact, subcompact, smart car, and so on. Spend some time studying the stats on the "Best in Class" for each category. The questions below refer only to the "Best in Class" cars.