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Financial Literacy

Savings Tools



This lesson allows students to research five of the most popular savings tools and distinguish the characteristics of each. Students analyze which savings tools are appropriate for reaching different savings goals and describe how each tool may differ among and within depository institutions.


Entrepreneurship Pathways from Ohio Department of Education

Standards addressed

Unit 9: Financial Literacy

9.1 Describe the fundamental principles of money.

9.2 Manage personal finances to achieve financial goals.

9.3 Discuss the use of financial service providers to aid in achieving financial goals.

9.4 Describe types of investment strategies.




  1. Distribute and discuss the list of vocabulary words and ask students to keep it handy as you are continuing through this unit.

  2. Begin by showing “Part 4: Start Saving — Ways to Save” from the PBS series “Your Life, Your Money,” which is found at Select the first section of Chapter 4 (“Ways to Save”).

  3. Discuss the following questions based on the video:

  4. What methods did D. Woods use to save money?

    Do you agree with all of D. Woods’ financial decisions? Why or why not?

    Why is it necessary for you to save money?

    If D. Woods had a job that paid her on a regular basis, would the amount of money she saved be the same?

    If you were D. Woods, would you make any different financial decisions?

  5. Using the following information from the FDIC website (, discuss FDIC insurance and how it makes savings tools safe and secure places to store money. Students should use the Savings Tools Note-Taking Guide handout to record appropriate information.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC for short, is a part of the federal government. That means it has the ability to make rules that affect banks in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. If it were part of a state government, it could only make rules that affected banks in that state alone. The FDIC’s biggest job is insuring the savings of millions of Americans in all the FDIC-insured banks across the country — even the savings of children.

    The FDIC also visits banks on a regular basis to make sure that the institutions are following the required rules. These rules, called regulations, make sure the bank operates profitably and fairly. For example, one rule that banks have to follow is called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. It states that a bank cannot refuse to loan money to someone just because of his or her color, religion, national origin or other discriminatory reasons. A bank can, however, refuse to loan money to someone if it thinks (by looking at how much someone earns and how they’ve paid off other bills) the person will not repay the loan.

    When a bank has a sign on it that says “Insured by FDIC,” it means that if the bank doesn’t have enough money to pay back the people it owes money to and is closed, the FDIC will make sure that all of the depositors get their money, up to the insurance limit, which is $250,000. To be insured by the FDIC, a bank must prove that it is being run profitably and fairly.

  6. Split participants into five groups, with an equal number of participants in each group. Assign each group one of the five savings tools being covered:

  7. checking account

    savings account

    money market deposit account

    certificate of deposit

    savings bond

  8. Using the Savings Tools Presentation handout, students should research their assigned savings tool, prepare a five-minute presentation and deliver the information to fellow classmates, who will continue recording appropriate information on the Characteristics of Savings Tools handout. Copyright©2012, Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. All rights reserved.
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