BFN-141: Personal Finance

Business, Entrepreneurship, & Professional Development
Business Administration
Academic Level
Course Subject
Business Finance
Course Number
Course Title
Personal Finance
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Catalog Course Description

Examines common financial concerns such as budgeting, obtaining and managing credit, buying insurance, planning for taxes, purchasing a car and/or home, and saving for retirement. Discusses stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Also provides information on career planning and employee benefits.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Introduction to Personal Finance and Financial Planning

    a. Discuss the need for financial literacy.
    b. Identify the household activities related to personal finance.
    c. Identify life events that have a significant impact on personal finances.
    d. Identify the steps in the financial planning process.

  2. Time Value of Money

    a. Calculate the future value of a single deposit or an annuity.
    b. Calculate the present value of a future sum of money.
    c. Determine the opportunity cost of a financial decision by calculating the time value of money.

  3. Current Financial Situation Assessment

    a. Discuss record-keeping methods.
    b. Create a balance sheet, and compute net worth.
    c. Create cash flow statements.
    d. Create a household budget.

  4. Personal Goals

    a. Discuss the three time frames for financial goals: short term, intermediate term, and long term.
    b. Explain the characteristics of effective financial goals.
    c. Decide upon a set of personal financial goals.
    d. Decide upon a set of personal non-financial goals.

  5. Financial Information and Financial Professionals

    a. Identify sources of financial information.
    b. Identify types of financial professionals.
    c. Explain how financial professionals and financial information providers may have a conflict of interest.
    d. Discuss how to interview prospective financial professionals.
    e. Assess financial information sources and financial professionals.

  6. Financial Services Commonly Available to Households

    a. Compare and contrast financial institutions based on financial services, ownership structure, fees, and consumer protection.
    b. Discuss reasons to avoid high-cost financial service providers such as check-cashing outlets, payday lenders, and pawnshops.
    c. Compare and contrast savings instruments.
    d. Compare and contrast payment methods.
    e. Discuss how to manage a checking account.
    f. Develop a plan to meet household financial service needs while minimizing institutional fees.

  7. Consumer Credit and Household Debt

    a. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using consumer credit.
    b. Distinguish between the proper and improper uses of consumer credit.
    c. Assess the sources of consumer credit.
    d. Discuss the process for getting a loan or applying for a credit card.
    e. Discuss common mistakes people make with credit cards.
    f. Demonstrate how to check one's credit report.
    f. Develop a plan to improve a credit report.

  8. Household Spending and Savings

    a. Analyze the causes of overspending.
    b. Propose strategies for reducing monthly expenses.
    c. Identify strategies for increasing savings.

  9. Purchase of a Car and a House

    a. Discuss the steps in the research-based buying process and the common mistakes made in each step.
    b. Compare options of leasing or buying a car.
    c. Calculate a vehicle price that is affordable based on income, debt obligations, interest rates, and other information.
    d. Compare options of renting or buying housing.
    e. Calculate a home price that is affordable based on income, debt obligations, mortgage rates, and other information.
    f. Discuss how major purchases impact the ability to meet other financial goals.

  10. Risk Management and Insurance Options

    a. Identify the risk management strategies available to households.
    b. Discuss personal events that carry risk and strategies for reducing the financial impact of those events.
    c. Identify insurance options available to households.
    d. Explain the tradeoff between risk acceptance and insurance cost.
    e. Design a total insurance plan to meet one's needs.

  11. Savings and Investment

    a. Identify the link between saving and investing.
    b. Explain the tradeoff between risk and reward.
    c. Explain the importance of diversification, and give examples of ways to diversify.
    d. Distinguish between equity investments and debt investments.
    e. Compare investment options based on the level of risk and the expected return.
    f. Explain how to buy a stock and a bond.
    g. Build an investment portfolio based on a set of financial goals.

  12. Career Planning

    a. Explain the relationship between career selection and the ability to meet financial and non-financial goals.
    b. Research careers with respect to earning potential and job stability.
    c. Evaluate industries and employers based on employee benefits offered.
    d. Discuss the importance of continuous education and training.

  13. Consumer Protection

    a. Identify the major laws that provide consumer protection.
    b. Explain the process of making a complaint to consumer protection agencies.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Students will be assessed through tests, quizzes, assignments, and/or class participation.


Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2020
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date