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Courses developed by Bellevue Community College

Covering the full breadth of financial education topics, with engaging hands-on activities incorporating stories of the learners, using in-class or online modalities to deliver one to ten sessions as required by your learners.

Bellevue Community College has developed eight financial education courses that can be tailored to the educational institution, workplace, social service agency, or for presentation to community and religious groups. The eight courses are personal money management, saving, credit, taxes, risk management, real estate, investments and employee benefits. The outcomes of these courses are to instill in the learner the behaviors that constitute good personal financial management. These courses can be tailored to populations of learners in a various formats from one 90-minute session to eleven hourly in-class sessions. Individuals can receive BCC college credit for completing them.


The curriculum for these courses was developed with the support of the Investor Protection Trust and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and is available free. We invite educators to join our educator forum on financial literacy so that we can improve the delivery of this vital education to our state.


For more information, contact Molly Blume


Personal Money Management


Personal money management focuses on managing personal income and expenses and their recordkeeping. Learners will be required to develop a personal budget and compile personal income statements.


Course Outline

Cash flow management

Comparative household expenses

The financial evaluation of alternatives

Personal income statement – budget against actual

Accounting and bookkeeping of personal expenses



Keep receipts and track expenses for one month to compile personal income statement by categories used by the Consumer Finance Survey

Look for opportunities to save money – teach strategies for comparison pricing, getting bids, etc.

Create a personal budget for the year

Create a system for tracking expenses against budget including credit card monitoring and check book balancing


Personal Savings


Savings; the banking industry and its products and services; savings returns, and evaluating alternative savings vehicles are the focus of this course. Learners will be able to create an annual budget, set financial goals and determine the risks and returns of various savings vehicles. They will create a personal net worth statement.


Course Outline

The banking industry and its products and services

Annual personal budget

Long-term financial goals

Investment risks (volatility and inflation)

Time value of money (present value and future value)

Annuity calculation

Economic and financial evaluation of alternatives

Net worth statement



Differentiate between annual budget and long term financial goals

Discuss and quantify major financial goals such as car, education, retirement

Have each learner come up with individual long term financial goals

Assess the risk associated with each of these goals (inflation)

Determine how much has to be saved annually to achieve these goals using the time value of money

Review several types of bank accounts (marketing brochures or review on the internet)

Evaluate which is the best account for expenses and savings

Calculate the cost (in annual percent) of insufficient funds or other bank fees

Creating a net worth statement


Personal Credit


Credit focuses on the evaluation of the credit industry and its consumer products and services. Learners will evaluate alternate credit and loan features. They will learn strategies for debt management.


Course Outline

Credit and loan industry

Legal aspects of credit

Comparative evaluation of credit instruments

Credit ratings and their impact

Time value of money (future and present)

Calculation of annual returns

Debt management



Evaluate “buy” messages analytically and critically

Differentiate between rational (cognitive) and emotional (affective) buying motives

Differentiate between ethical and unethical marketing practices.

Compare cash price to installment price in order to make a purchasing decision

Determine periodic payment, interest and total amount required to pay to amortize a loan

Calculate finance charges on credit card balances and cash advances

Identify consumer assistance services provided by the public and private organizations (e.g. government, the Better Business Burea and manufacturers)

Research consumer advocacy groups that address consumer right and responsibilities and describe how an individual can participate

Analyze various sources and types of credit and related costs

Select an appropriate form of credit for a particular buying decision

Compare and contrast the various aspects of credit cards (e.g. APR, grace period, incentive buying, methods of calculating interest and fees)

Explain credit ratings and credit reports and describe their importance to consumers

Describe the relationship between credit rating and cost of credit

Recognize the signals of a credit problem

Compare and contrast the legal aspects of different forms of credit (e.g. title transfer, responsibility limits, collateral requirements and co-signing)

Describe legal and illegal types of credit that carry high interest rates (e.g. payday loans, rent-to-buy agreements and loan sharking)

Identify the components listed on a credit report and explain how the information is used.


Personal Taxes


Taxes deal with individual tax filing, tax planning and maximizing after-tax returns.


Course Outline

US taxation system--tax returns, withholding, tax credits, tax refunds, tax payments, tax penalties

Filing tax returns

Pre-tax spending accounts

Tax-advantaged retirement accounts (IRAs, 401Ks, Roth IRAs)



Prepare a tax return

Engage in tax planning

Calculate benefits of pre-tax spending accounts

Calculate the difference between after-tax and pre-tax returns on retirement accounts

Evaluate eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit and tax credits for 401K (low income) and their effect on savings

Evaluate strategies for maximizing after-tax returns


Personal Risk Management


Personal Risk management focuses on the insurance industry and its products. The learner will evaluate personal insurance needs.


Course Outline

Insurance (Property, auto, renters) – Deductibles, limits, etc.)

Life insurance (term, whole life, variable annuities and how they work)

Health insurance and how it works (Deductibles, copays, etc.)

Long term care

Medicare and Medicaid



Analyze personal risk and determine methods of mitigating this risk

Evaluate various forms of life insurance and their benefits and costs

Prepare personal information for appropriate insurance quotes – Evaluate three quotes for property insurance

Evaluate the differences in risk between three or more health insurance packages

Analyze risk management case studies

Articulate the resources available under Medicare and Medicaid


Personal Real Estate


Personal Real Estate will cover the single-family house and mortgage market. Learners will review the home buying and mortgage application process.


Course Outline

Single-family real estate in the US

Historical returns on single-family real estate

Evaluating the single-family homes as an investment

Interest rates and how they work.

Mortgage maturity and risks.

Mortgage payment calculation.

The home buying process



Evaluate case study between buying and renting including investment and tax benefits

Articulate rights in the home buying process

Review home buying programs

Articulate steps in the home buying process and risks in each step

Financial evaluation of various mortages (fixed rates, APR, variable rates, interest only, terms, points, etc. )

Calculate the effect of brokers’ fees, title insurance, inspections and lawyers fees on a home purchase

Evaluate the effect of interest rates on mortgages


Personal Investment


Investments will focus on financial goals, historical risk and returns of major asset classes, asset allocation, maximizing after-tax returns and monitoring investments.


Course Outline

Personal Financial goals

Historical returns

Investment risk

Asset allocation

Maximizing after-tax returns

Monitoring investments



Evaluate budget versus long-term financial goals

Articulate personal financial goals

Differentiate between asset classes, their characteristics, and their historical returns and risk

Articulate how asset allocation is done

Assess Mutual funds, index funds, ETFs

Evaluate case studies of traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401Ks and other tax-advantaged savings

Evaluate investment returns versus cost of debt

Evaluate investments against indices


Employee Benefits for Personal Finance


Employee benefits outlines basic benefits offered by firms. Learners will become familiar with what these benefits achieve and how to use them for long-term financial planning.


Course Outline

Social Security

Unemployment insurance

Medical Insurance


Dependent Care and Health Care  Spending Accounts

Retirement (401K, profit sharing, pensions)



Review a social security summary statement and evaluate how benefits are computed.

Determine how unemployment benefits are given.

Describe major employee benefits (medical, disability, life, etc.) and what they cover

Analyze a case study of health insurance and determine relevant costs

Evaluate the differences in risk between three or more medical insurance packages

Taking the employer’s perspective design an employee benefits package using relevant components – calculate the cost to the employer and the benefit to the employee

Evaluate the financial benefits of spending accounts

Calculate the after-tax benefit to the employee of 401K, profiting sharing or pension benefits



Garman et al., (2005, March 22) Financial Distress Among American Workers - Final Report: 30 Million Workers in American--One in Four--Are Seriously Financially Distressed and Dissatisfied Causing Negative Impacts on Individuals, Families, and Employers, Independent report from the authors that is available at


Kim, J. (2004) Impact of a Workplace Financial Education Program on Financial Attitude, Financial Behavior, Financial Well-Being and Financial Knowledge.


Hilgert, M. and Hogarth, J. (2003) Household Financial Management: The Connection between Knowledge and Behavior


Joo, S. and Garman, T. (1998) The Potential Effects of Workplace Financial Education Based on the Relationship between Personal Financial Wellness and Worker Job Productivity


Garman, T. (1997) Personal Finance Education for Employees: Evidence On The Bottom-line Benefits.


Bernheim, B. and Garrett, D. (2003) The effects of financial education in the workplace: evidence from a survey of households


Bayer, P., Bernheim, B. and Scholz, J., (1996) The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace: Evidence from a Survey of Employers


Lusardi, A. (2004) Saving and Effectiveness of Financial Education


EBRI (2006) The 2006 Retirement Confidence Survey







This website is maintained by Leslie Lum and does not reflect the opinions or position of Bellevue Community College.  Contact if you have any questions.

Last updated: 1/12/07