Financial literary is a topic that needs to be addressed with the youth of the nation. Years ago, before I became a high school teacher, I remember reading and reflecting on Rich Dad, Poor Dad author’s Robert Kiyosaki take on one of the major reasons some people seem to understand how money works while others are constantly battling debt, bankruptcy and other pitfalls. Kiyosaki believed the difference was that some children had parents that taught then about responsible money management while others who were less fortunate did not.
According to findings from the 2011 Teens and Personal Finance Survey “The recent recession and continuing economic uncertainties around the globe have focused U.S. teens’ attention on the importance of managing their personal finances. Although many of the teens surveyed have taken action to learn more, they do not believe they have all the skills to manage their respective economic futures.”
This is a group poised to take on record debt in part because of the economic situation and also due to the near-constant barrage of credit card applications and advertisements that inundate the mail box and inbox. According to findings looking to assess the effects of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 “68 percent of students under 21 said they still received credit mailings and 40 percent of students reported seeing credit agents passing out ‘gifts’ to students on campus.”
As a teacher, I can predict the refrain that this is the “school’s responsibility”. However, it must be reinforced that we teachers have a crucially important role that is ultimately effective to the extent that we are supported by the parents of our students.
The survey’s findings continue by stating “They need guidance and access to information; they need an easily accessible resource for financial knowledge and money-management tools.”
The school is certainly an ideal place to offer education and training in personal finance and money management- particularly for those who will soon be assuming massive debts (recently this number has exceeded $1 trillion dollars) and entering a jobless recovery.
Growing up I did not receive much training or education in school about money. I was fortunate as I grew up in a responsible household and my father was an accountant. I learned many lesson from him over the years. The current crop of youth is in need of both.
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