Personal Finance Simulations for Budgeting and Investing

Question:  What is a Personal Finance simulation? 

Answer:  A Personal Finance simulation allows students to fine-tune their decisions when they encounter real-life scenarios while taking a Personal Finance course. 

The authors of Personal Finance, 14e and Focus on Personal Finance, 7e have partnered with StockTrak.com to provide students with an interactive learning experience before they leave the classroom.   

The simulation that accompanies the Kapoor Personal Finance texts includes two components–a personal budgeting simulation and an investing simulation.

The Budgeting Simulation

  • Students assume the role of a full-time employee or part-time employee living on their own.
  • Over a virtual 12-month period, students review their estimated income and expenses, create monthly budgets and savings goals, and try to build an emergency fund. Each month takes about 20 minutes to complete.
  • Each month students manage their checking, savings, and credit card accounts as they deal with life’s expected and unexpected events that affect their budget.  
  • Within the simulation, additional personal finance tutorials are available to make sure students are learning about budgeting, banking, credit, employment, taxes, insurance, and more.
  • A class ranking based on net worth, credit score, and quality of life keep the students fully engaged and professors informed of each student’s progress.

The Investing Simulation

  • Students receive a virtual $25,000 in a brokerage account.
  • They can research U.S. stocks, ETFs, bonds and mutual funds and create their own investment portfolio.
  • All investment trades are based on real-time market prices.
  • Within the simulation, interactive tutorials help students get started and provide additional information during the simulation.
  • Students can monitor their performance versus their classmates.  At the same time, professors can track each student’s progress.

And BEST of ALL, with the new partnership between Stock-Trak and McGraw Hill, classes using the Kapoor Personal Finance textbook get a 50% savings when students register for the simulation – only $9.99 per student instead of retail price of $19.99.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Visit StockTrak.com/kapoor to learn more about the Personal Finance Budgeting and Investing Simulation.  You can learn even more by watching a short video or accessing the Kapoor demo materials located toward the bottom of the above site. 
  • It’s easy to get started.  All you need to do is access the above site, register your classes for Spring 2023, and indicate the dates you want your student to have access to the Personal Finance Simulation.  The site will generate a unique link for you to give to your students.

How Healthy is Your Insurance Company?

When buying home, health, auto or rental insurance, you should find out if your state insurance department offers any information about insurance companies and rates.  Check several sources for the best rate and get quotes online.  Consult an independent insurance agent who represents several insurers in your area to get a better deal.

 Before purchasing insurance, be sure the insurance company is licensed and covered by the state’s guaranty fund.  The fund pays claims if the company defaults.  Your state insurance department can provide this information.

Research the complaint record of the company.  Contact your state insurance department, or visit the website of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org), which maintains a database of complaints filed with state regulators.  Finally check the financial stability of the insurance company.

For additional information and guidance visit the following websites:

http://www.ambest.com, http://www.standardandpoors.com, and http://www.moodys.com

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important to contact state insurance department before purchasing insurance?
  2. How can an independent insurance agent provide a better insurance rate?
  3. Why is an insurance company’s financial stability important?

Teaching Suggestions

You may want to use the information in this blog post and the websites to

*  Have students visit the various websites in this blog and then prepare a short summary of their findings.

*  explore a few advantages of purchasing insurance from an independent insurance agent?