Monday, March 18, 2013

The Sorry State of Financial Education Within our Schools

Financial education has always been sort of an ancillary topic within the US education system.  Usually covered in "Economics" class or one lesson within some other class, the net effect is to downplay something that is so very important to the survival of any potential graduate.  Think about it this way, you could have a child who is a genius at Math, Science, History, or English, but none of that will be very useful if they don't know how to manage their money.  Alternatively, if your child was rather average, and achieved a decent paying job, but knew how to manage their money, they will most likely have less stress in their life and live a better more fulfilled existence.

The truth of the matter is that our education system in the US is very inadequate when it comes to teaching children the fundamentals of personal finance.  In my own experience, personal financial education consisted of making an imaginary budget and watching movies on how people became millionaires...not very helpful.  

Instead, having every high school graduate go through a course that teaches them about budgeting, saving, investing, and other important financial concepts (such as buying a house, car, or opening a credit card), would pay for itself exponentially.  The net benefit to our economy by having a whole generation of financially literate children enter the workforce would be profound.  Who needs further regulation when all your customers can recognize that a no principal, adjustable rate mortgage sounds like trouble from the get-go.  

Changing the educational culture within the US is not an easy task, but collectively you can start making an impact.  Talk to your teachers, principals, and other educators.  Vote for the necessary funds at your next school budget vote, or even volunteer to teach a lecture at your local high school.  This change won't happen on its own.  

Finally, the most important asset in your child's financial education is the time you spend with them.  Don't rely on the public schools to teach them about personal finance.  Instead, take matters into your own hands and learn the subjects yourself.  

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Family celebration for my Wife's coming mission trip for 2 weeks to Egypt.

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