Open-Ended Challenge Questions

PersonalFinaceLab’s curriculum library is packed full of automatically-graded quizzes and assessments at the end of every lesson. However, to give students an additional push, you may also want to assign students open-ended questions for short written assignments, or launching points for class discussion.

Most of our Personal Finance lessons end with 4-6 “Challenge Questions” – you can find a list of all questions here.

Budgeting

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/budgeting/

  1. What do you understand by the term budget?
  2. How might a budget help you with your financial goals?
  3. How can you relate opportunity cost to budgets?
  4. How would comparison shopping help with your budget?
  5. If you pay yourself first, are you more likely to make smarter money decisions with the money that is left and why?

IRS Audits

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/irs-audits/

  1. What is a tax audit?
  2. What is an auditor?
  3. How are tax returns audited?
  4. In your opinion, should your taxes be audited?

When to Hire a Tax Professional

Original lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/when-to-hire-a-tax-professional/

  1. Why do taxes exist?
  2. In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a tax professional?
  3. List 3 tax forms mentioned in this article.
  4. The IRS holds about $1 billion each year in unclaimed refundable tax credits. What does this mean?

Tax Additions: Situations Requiring You to Pay Extra Income Tax

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/tax-additions/

  1. What other items, other than you initial income from your paycheck can be taxed?
  2. What is a W-2 or 1099?
  3. In your opinion, should people pay taxes? If so, why. If not, why not?
  4. Using examples, explain what Capital gains is.

Buying a Car

Original lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/buying-a-car/

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new car?
  2. In your opinion, is having a new or used car better for you and why?
  3. Using examples, what do you understand by the term depreciation?
  4. If you are to lease or take out a loan to buy a car, how does the down payment affect your payments?
  5. Would you rather have a bigger down payment and a smaller monthly payment, or a small down payment and a larger monthly payment?

Mortgages

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/mortgages/

  1. What do you understand by the term Mortgage?
  2. What is the difference between a secured and unsecured loan?
  3. Using the internet, type in mortgage and research what types of mortgages and borrowing rates that are being made available to the public.( Do not submit an application) Provide examples for each type.
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying or renting a house?

Building An Investing Strategy

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/investing-strategy/

  1. Using examples from the lesson, explain what is meant by the term Liquid.
  2. If you were given $100,000 today, how would you invest it and why?
  3. Are there any risks with any of these investments?
  4. Why is it important to diversify?

Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/consumerism-rights-and-responsibilities/

  1. Using examples, explain what a consumer is.
  2. How is a warranty both beneficial for the manufacturer and the consumer?
  3. List 5 consumer “watchdog” organizations that have been set up to protect consumers?
  4. Have you every bought a product that was faulty? If so, what were you able to do?

Credit – Using Borrowed Money

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/credit-using-borrowed-money/

  1. In your own words, , explain what credit is.
  2. How can credit help you with managing your money?
  3. What is a credit score?
  4. How can credit hurt you financially?
  5. How can scammers and fraud effect your credit score?
  6. Why do people take out mortgages for such a long period of time?

Credit Cards

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/credit-cards/

  1. What is the difference between Credit and Debit?
  2. How does a credit card company make its money?
  3. How can credit cards help you and hurt you financially?
  4. In your own words, explain what the Card Act of 2009 is.

Credit Reports

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/credit-reports/

  1. How is a credit score calculated?
  2. What is the difference between a credit report and a credit score?
  3. How important is it for you to build your score? Give examples of how this will help you financially.
  4. List 3 Credit reporting agencies.
  5. How might fraud affect your credit score?

Good Debt, Bad Debt

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/good-debt-bad-debt/

  1. In your own words, explain the difference between good debt and bad debt.
  2. How might good debt become bad debt?
  3. How can emotions cause you to increase your debt?
  4. When refinancing homes, what risks should people be aware of?
  5. Are there ways in which people can take to minimize their debt?

Income and Compensation

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/income-and-compensation/

  1. What is the difference between a wage and a salary?
  2. What is the minimum wage in your state?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being on a salary and a wage?
  4. Would you prefer to be paid a wage or a salary?
  5. Other than pay, are there any other benefits that employees could potential get from working at a company?

Managing Debt

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/managing-debt/

  1. In your own words, explain what debt is.
  2. List as many different types of debt as you can.
  3. How can having debt cost you more money?
  4. What message or warning would you give to anyone before they get into debt?
  5. Are there any pieces of advice that you would share with others about managing their money to avoid debt?

Planning for Retirement

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/planning-for-retirement/

  1. In your own words, explain what the term retirement means.
  2. What is a 401K and how did it get its name?
  3. What is Social Security and why do people pay into it?
  4. Why is it important for you to start a retirement earlier?
  5. Along with Employer pensions, why should people also be looking at private pensions aswell?
  6. In your own words, explain what a Roth is and what the difference is between a Traditional and a Roth IRA.

Short-Term Financing

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/short-term-financing/

  1. In your own words, explain with examples what short term financing is.
  2. How are credit cards and payday loan similar?
  3. How can missing a payment on your credit card or loan be a problem for you?
  4. How might buying something when you can outright afford it without the need for credit help you with your finances?

Types Of Insurance

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/glossary/what-is-insurance/

  1. Why do people take out insurance?
  2. Why do the police demand that you drive with insurance?
  3. Using your own words, explain how insurance works in terms of demand and how people are charged.
  4. What is the difference between liability and deductibility?
  5. List 5 different things that are commonly insured.

Car Insurance

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/car-insurance/

  1. In your opinion, should every driver or car on the road be insured?
  2. Using examples , state and explain the different types of car insurance that are available.
  3. Using examples, explain what a deductible is.
  4. Explain what is meant by the term premium when discussing insurance.
  5. What is the difference between Tort and No fault?
  6. In what ways could your actions cause your insurance premium to increase?
  7. In what way are you able to reduce your insurance premium?

Homeowner’s Insurance

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/homeowners-insurance/

  1. What is the purpose of homeowners insurance?
  2. Give examples of the type of things that a homeowner policy will cover?
  3. What is meant by coverage limits?
  4. In your own words and with examples, explain what a deductible is.
  5. What should you do when looking for insurance?

Renter’s Insurance

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/renters-insurance/

  1. Why do renters have insurance?
  2. List 4 examples of what renters insurance does not cover.
  3. In your opinion are you for or against insurance and why?

Health Insurance

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/health-insurance/

  1. In your opinion, is it worth having Health insurance?
  2. Using examples, explain what a deductible is.
  3. What is the opportunity cost when considering whether you should have Health insurance or not?
  4. How do insurance companies calculate the premium they will charge people for their insurance policies?

Life Insurance

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/life-insurance/

  1. List all the different types of Insurance mentioned in the text above.
  2. Why might someone consider a Life insurance policy?
  3. How can Life insurance be an investment?
  4. Would you consider a Life insurance policy later on in your life? If so why? If not, why not?

Planning Long-Term Purchases

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/planning-long-term-purchases/

  1. Using examples from your own life, explain what opportunity cost is.
  2. Why should depreciation be a consideration when purchasing a product?
  3. In the text above, what is meant by the real cost?
  4. Explain what you understand by the term amortization and how would you explain it to someone else using an example?

Consolidating Debt

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/consolidating-debt/

  1. Using examples, what does it mean to consolidate debt?
  2. What are the advantages of consolidating debt?
  3. Are there any disadvantages to consolidating debt?
  4. What is the difference between a secured and unsecured loan?
  5. What are the current loan rate percentages being offered in the market place today for a loan of $10,000 over 3 years?

Debt Management Services

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/debt-management-services/

  1. What do you understand by the term credit counselling?
  2. Using the internet, research the two credit counselling bodies mentioned in the text, providing an overview of what they do and how they help people?
  3. What restrictions do people take when addressing their debt?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of debt settlement?

Debt Negotiation

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/debt-negotiation/

  1. Why might a company be interested in negotiating your debt with you?
  2. Using an example, explain what is the difference between principal and interest?
  3. How might the interest on the same loan vary from person to person?
  4. How does debt negotiation benefit you?
  5. How can debt negotiation go against you in the future?

Effectively Juggling Bills

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/effectively-juggling-bills/

  1. What reasons might there be that could cause someone to miss paying a bill?
  2. In your opinion, how important is it to have an emergency fund?
  3. After reading the text, would you pay a small amount to each creditor or prioritize and look to eliminate one bill at a time?
  4. What are some of the effects of paying your bills late?

Researching Purchases

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/researching-purchases/

  1. Why is it important to consider comparison shopping?
  2. Other than price, what other factors should you consider before purchasing something?
  3. With the use of examples, what do you understand by peer pressure?
  4. With your understanding of opportunity cost, how does this apply to purchases?
  5. How might delayed gratification and delayed purchases help you with your budgeting?

Family Planning

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/family-planning/

  1. How might budgeting help parents with being able to afford to raise a child?
  2. How does your expense structure change with the different ages and stages of raising a child?
  3. Other than the actual cost of paying to raise a child, what other non financial factors should also be considered in raising a child?
  4. Are there any programs are out there, both government and private that are there to assist families and children in times of financial and emotional need?

Bankruptcy

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/bankruptcy/

  1. What do you understand by the term bankruptcy?
  2. What is the difference between Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcy?
  3. Will there be more likely to be more bankruptcy cases in a growing or shrinking economy and why?
  4. Using resources available to you, explain with examples, what your understanding by foreclosure.

Budgeting and Spending Strategies

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/budgeting-spending-strategies/

  1. Why is it important to have an idea of how much you receive and spend each month?
  2. How might paying yourself first (saving first before spending) help your cashflow and budget?
  3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of having an overdraft?
  4. It has been said that to have more money, you need to go out and earn more, or cut costs. Which would you prefer to do and why?
  5. What is the opportunity of working more hours?
  6. Is it possible to relate value of money to time spent working?

Pay Yourself First

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/pay-yourself-first/

  1. What do you understand by the concept Pay Yourself First or sometime known as Save first, before you spend?
  2. How might this help you budget?
  3. If you were going to start Paying Yourself First today, how would you go about it?
  4. What are the advantages of Paying Yourself First?

Unemployment and Other Assistance Programs

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/unemployment-assistance-programs/

  1. What do you understand by Unemployment Assistance?
  2. Do you think it is a good thing?
  3. How can it help families?
  4. Using any resources available to you, list 5 programs of assistance that are available for unemployed and families in your area.

Accounting for Automatic Payments

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/accounting-for-automatic-payments/

  1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of setting up auto payments?
  2. How might creating a monthly calendar of when payments go out help you with your budgeting?
  3. How can cash flow be a factor when setting up auto payments?
  4. How might having an emergency fund be a good thing when setting up an auto payment?

Building Wealth

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/building-wealth/

  1. In order to build worth, you have to learn to manage your money and save some of the money that you earn. Is this true, and if so why?
  2. How might your career over time help you build your wealth?
  3. Does earning more money guarantee to build wealth? If so , why? If not, why not?
  4. Why should you have a savings account and a checking account, rather than having one single account?

Unexpected and Irregular Expenses

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/spending-shocks/

  1. What do you understand by the term Rainy-Day Fund or otherwise known as an Emergency Fund?
  2. How would having a Rainy-Day Fund be beneficial for you and your family?
  3. Opportunity costs, is the cost of choosing one thing over another. How might this concept benefit you when spending?
  4. How might regular budgeting and spending assessment help you with your cash flow and savings?

Work Versus Study

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/work-versus-study/

  1. What do you understand about work versus study?
  2. Why is it important to network with others and how could this help you?
  3. Why is it important to offer help where you can to others when networking?
  4. Currently students across the US have a combined debt of $1.4 trillion dollars. What could you do to minimize your education costs?

What Is Credit?

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/credit-using-borrowed-money/

  1. In your own words, describe what you mean by Credit.
  2. What is a credit score?
  3. How can you improve your credit score?
  4. What ways can you destroy your credit score?
  5. How can scammers and fraud effect your credit score?
  6. Why do people take out mortgages for such a long period of time?

Protecting Against Fraud

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/protecting-against-fraud/

  1. Why are your personal details valuable to hackers?
  2. How can you be effected when your private information gets into the wrong hands?
  3. Have you or anyone you know ever been a victim of fraud. If so, explain how it could have been prevented.
  4. Give three pieces of advice that you would pass onto someone younger than you, on how you can protect yourself against fraud and scammers.

Sales Tax

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/all-about-sales-tax/

  1. What is the sales tax percentage in your state?
  2. Explain how you would calculate sales tax using your own example.
  3. List 10 states and their sale tax rates.
  4. Why might sales tax vary from state to state?
  5. When your sales tax is collected by the local governing bodies, how is it used?
  6. Who is the Governor of your state and how has taxes been used in your area?

What is Wealth?

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/glossary/wealth/

  1. What assets do you currently own? How could those assets help you accumulate wealth for your future?
  2. Setting goals to build wealth are truly key to helping you have a successful, happy future. You don’t have to be filthy rich. You just need enough money to support the lifestyle you’d like to live. Thinking about your future, what is one financial goal you’d like to have for yourself in your 20’s? What choices would help you reach that goal? (Students could choose from a goal for their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc.)

What is Money?

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/glossary/money-types-of-stored-value-2/

  1. As technology continues to evolve in our society, it is possible that the way we store our money and pay for transactions will change. What do you think that process might look like 15 years from now?
  2. What additional security measures do you see happening in the future in order to keep scammers from fraudulently stealing people’s money?
  3. Describe your experience with using the different financial tools you learned about in this lesson.

Spending Plans

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/glossary/spending-plan-2/

  1. Suppose your friend got her first job and she wants to save for a new car. Explain how having a spending plan would help her reach that goal.
  2. Why is it important that you review your spending plan regularly?
  3. What are three life events that could impact your spending plan? For each event, explain how YOU would adjust your plan.
  4. Explain the relationship between a spending plan and building wealth.

Reconciling Accounts

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/finance-knowledge/personal-finance/reconciling-accounts/

  1. What do you understand by the term account reconciliation?
  2. Why is it important to do an account reconciliation each month.
  3. How might a financial advisor help?

Receipts – Keeping and Tossing

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/receipts-keeping-and-tossing/

  1. When was the last time you received a receipt. Did you check it and did you keep it?
  2. Have you ever received the wrong change?
  3. Have you ever returned a product to a store. Were you asked for a receipt?
  4. Why might the IRS expect you to keep receipts?
  5. How might keeping your receipts help you with your spending plan?

Banks, Credit Unions, and Savings & Loan Institutions

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/a-g/banks-credit-unions-and-savings-loan-institutions/

  1. Based on your current income (or future) income from a part-time job while in high school, explain which financial institution would be the best fit for you. Include at least three reasons why you would make that choice.
  2. Your uncle wants to start his own business but needs to borrow money in order to do that. What advice would you give him about the type of financial institution most likely to work with him?
  3. You have your first part-time job and are working 20 hours per week. Your parents have asked you to be responsible for paying for your cell phone bill, your car insurance, and for putting gas in the car. They would also like you to start saving for college expenses. Explain how you would use a savings account and a checking account to help manage your finances.
  4. List 3 National Banks, 3 Credit Unions and 3 Savings and Loan Institutions near your home.

Debit Cards

Original Lesson: https://content.personalfinancelab.com/personal-finance/debit-credit-cards-without-credit/

  1. How is a debit card and credit card different?
  2. How might using a credit card at an ATM be different than using a Debit card?
  3. How do you know if some ATM machines charge for their services.
  4. List 5 places where an ATM is located near to where you live.