Lessons From Dave Ramsey are Helping Local Kids and Adults

ALA Ironwood

By ALA Ironwood Staff

Have you ever asked yourself, “Wow, I wish someone would have told me that earlier? Or “Can I have a do-over?”

When it comes to money, students at American Leadership Academy can say they learned how to make financially-fit decisions as early as high school to avoid financial flops later in life.

Lessons from Financial Guru Dave Ramsey

All students at American Leadership Academy are required to take a one-semester Personal Finance class before they graduate.

The curriculum and lesson plans are based on Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance High School Edition books and materials, which have been used to help over 1 million students across the nation become financially literate.

The major lessons students learn in this class include credit and ways to avoid debt, how to buy houses and cars, the ins and outs of insurance and taxes, investing at an early age, as well as buying and selling stocks.

“When I talk to my adult friends, this is the type of material they wish they would have learned in high school,” said Brenin Angle, Personal Finance teacher at ALA Ironwood High School.

After all the years of teaching teens about money, Dave Ramsey has simplified the most important concepts taught in his course into five easy steps.

Dave Ramsey’s Five Foundations for High School students include:

  • Save $500 for an Emergency Fund
    Get Out of Debt
    Pay Cash for Your Car
    Pay Cash for College
    Build Wealth and Give

Throughout the course, these foundations are reinforced with video instruction, hands-on activities, and assessments that allow students to apply what they learn in real-life situations.

Students Applying Finances to Real-Life Situations

“Here at ALA we get them academically ready for real life, but this class gets them ready for real life situations when, for example, they are trying to buy a car and house and all the financial components that are associated,” said Ray Turley, Director of ALA Ironwood High School.

Angle says he likes to start each lesson relaying to his students how they can apply these financial lessons now, but in the future as well. He says he wants his students to have the correct financial mindset and behavior on how to handle money before they leave high school.

ALA Ironwood High School sophomore Hailey Wurtz said that Dave’s Five Foundations have really taught her how to be financially savvy, to stay out of debt, and to always have an emergency fund.

“I feel like I am learning how to take care of myself after I get out of high school,” says Wurtz.

Since taking this class, Wurtz says that going to college without taking out a student loan is really important to her.

Wurtz also says she really enjoys learning about buying and selling stocks.

Angle’s class competes in real life stock market challenges online where students can buy and sell real stocks with virtual money. His class even came in 5th out of 100 teams in Arizona in the 2017 Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge.

Wurtz received $1 million in virtual money to buy stocks. She is currently investing in Toyota, Target, Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Students also participate in other practical activities like learning how to buy a house through Zillow, as well as the ins and outs of 15 or 30-year mortgage.

Gearing up Students for Life After High School

Angle also said that he is encouraging his students to participate in the H&R Block Budget Challenge, an online simulation that immerses students into the financial life of a recent college graduate. This nationwide challenge gives away ten $20,000 college scholarships for high school students.

“My goal for students at the end of the class is that they have a healthy relationship with money,” said Mark Armstrong, personal finance teacher at ALA Gilbert North High School.

Armstrong often asks his students “How are you going to pay for the life you want to live?” He enjoys teaching his students about starting early to save their money.

Armstrong says that several students have opened up savings accounts, checking accounts or a mutual fund because of the lessons they have learned in his class.

ALA Gilbert North junior Andrew Feldman says that he is now more conscious of how he spends his money. He is also looking into purchasing real stocks with his dad and making some extra money on the side during high school.

“I am glad I am learning these lessons early on before the real experience,” said Feldman.

Students at ALA are learning important financial lessons early that many other people figure out after a few bad financial mistakes in their older adults lives.

“This class helps students learn how to get on their feet faster so they don’t have to go through the same bad consequences that so many other couples have to go through,” said Turley.

But for those couples that still would like to boost their financial knowledge and learn a thing or two from Dave Ramsey’s foundations, ALA Ironwood High School will offer a FREE 9-week Financial Peace University Course sponsored and presented by Title I at their campus to parents or other adult residents in the San Tan Valley area. The course starts Feb. 15 and runs through April 12. For more information, go to the Financial Peace registration page.

Foundations in Personal Finance High School Edition https://www.daveramsey.com/school/highschool

Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge: https://www.jaaz.org/event/ja-stock-market-challenge/

Zillow: https://www.zillow.com/

H&R Block Budget Challenge: http://www.hrblockdollarsandsense.com/budget-challenge/

Financial Peace Registration page: https://www.fpucentral.com/classes/1057748/registration