Apptivity of the Month: Building Wealth

Do you have a bring-your-own-device program in your school district? Do you have a mobile tablet lab? Are you looking for ways to integrate these technologies into your classroom? Well, we have an "apptivity" for you!

What is it?

Building Wealth by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: The app is a personal finance education resource designed to help young people develop a plan for building personal wealth. It presents an overview of personal wealth-building strategies including setting financial goals, budgeting, saving and investing, managing debt, and understanding credit reports and credit scores.

Where can I get it?
You can download the app for free from either of these locations:

What can I do with it?

We're sure you'll come up with many ways to use this app in your classroom. Here are some ideas for student assignments to get you started:


  • Chapter 1: Describe the problem facing Bob. Explain how to calculate your own net worth. Give some examples of assets and liabilities you think you will have as an adult.
  • Chapter 2: Explain the difference between a short-term and a long-term financial goal. Describe what "doers" do to be financially healthy. Describe the problem Lynne faced and how she solved it.
  • Chapter 3: Explain the relationship between risk and return when considering different saving and investment options. Describe Betty's approach to investing. Explain how her approach seeks to balance risk and return.
  • Chapter 4: Explain why having good credit is an asset. Describe why Betty chooses to pay bills with automatic debits and pays off her credit card every month.
  • Chapter 5: Describe the kinds of assets you can protect with insurance. Describe what types of insurance you currently need and what kinds you will eventually need. Explain the difference.


  • Budgeting and Saving tools: Use the tools to find your own net worth, set your personal financial goals, and create a personal budget for your income and expenses. Share the results with a partner. Write a short reflection about how well you think you are handling your finances. Indicate steps you could take to improve your financial life.
  • Credit and Debt tools: Use the mortgage loan and credit card interest calculators to determine the costs and benefits of using credit. After going through each scenario, discuss which option represents the best use of credit and why.
  • Mortgage Comparison: Look up a house you would like to buy someday. Enter the price of the house in the Loan amount field. (In real life, you would have to make a down payment, so the loan would not be for the full price of the house.) Look up current interest rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans, enter these rates in the rate fields, then hit Calculate. Write down the difference in interest paid between the two loans. What are the costs and benefits of the two types of loans?
  • Check mortgage rates on
  • Credit Card Debt Analysis: Enter the name of a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and so on). Look up what the average American owes in credit card debt and enter this amount in the Debt field. Look up current credit card interest rates, enter a rate in the Interest rate field, and then hit Calculate. Record the amount of monthly interest charges you would pay. What are the costs and benefits of using credit cards?

You can find information about credit card debt on these sites:

For credit card interest rates, go to

Wealth IQ: Play the game and test your personal finance knowledge!

Do you have any more?

Yes! Check the March issue of Extra Credit for our next "Apptivity of the Month."

By Sherilyn Narker, economic and financial education
January 21, 2014