Our public school system is failing our children. April is Financial Literacy Month, but you’d never know it. There’s no special events at our public school, special units in any of the classes, and there’s not a single poster to be found inside the school. The public school’s failure to recognize Financial Literacy Month is only a small symptom in the greater problem. The public school system does not have any mandatory classes to teach students about personal finance. If the point of an education is to give kids the skills they need to be a productive, successful adult functioning in today’s world, how can personal finance NOT be mandatory material?
At a minimum, the public school system, in my opinion, teach the following skills to students:
Balancing a Checkbook
I’ve met adults that can’t seem to grasp the concept of unposted transactions. One may not always be able to tell how much money they have available to spend based upon what the bank reports as the current balance. Young adults need to know how to keep a balanced checkbook to know how much money they really have.
The foundation to being successful with personal finance is the budget. It helps a person figure out what bills they have and how it compares to their income. It makes people think ahead for upcoming expenditures and is essentially the blueprint for what a person does with their money.
Dangers of Credit Cards
Credit cards can be a useful tool, but they can also be very dangerous. Teaching young adults how they work, what the dangers are, and how hard it is to work your way out of debt are important to their long term financial health.
There are countless personal finance lessons and concepts we could teach to help prepare students for life on their own. The must be support and additional instruction at home, but some basic concepts should be mandatory in the public school.
How about you Clever Friends? Does your public school require any personal finance classes for graduation? Are there any elective courses offered? How did you learn personal finance skills?
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