It’s no secret that money is one of the most important things in our lives. We need it to live, to work, to play…the list goes on and on. So, it’s no surprise that financial literacy is an essential life skill. Unfortunately, it’s a skill that many of us are lacking. In fact, according to a study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 63% of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 emergency.
Clearly, there’s a need for better financial education in this country. So, why isn’t financial literacy taught in schools? Let’s take a look.
The History of Financial Literacy in Schools
Up until the early 1970s, personal finance was taught in schools as part of the home economics curriculum. However, as America shifted from an agrarian economy to a service-based economy, home economics courses began to fall by the wayside. In their place, courses like computer science and business became more popular. And so, personal finance took a backseat.
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in teaching financial literacy in schools. In fact, many states now require high school students to take a personal finance course before they graduate. However, even with this increased focus, there are still some challenges when it comes to teaching financial literacy in schools.
One challenge is finding qualified teachers. While there are some certified financial educators out there, they are few and far between. And so, many schools end up having to rely on teachers who don’t have any specific financial training. Another challenge is the lack of resources available to teachers. There are very few quality personal finance textbooks and lesson plans available for purchase or download online.
But the fact remains that in spite of all these challenges, financial literacy is an important life skill that all students should have the opportunity to learn. And there are plenty of ways to make personal finance fun and interesting!
Here are just a few ideas:
1) Teach kids about budgeting and saving early on. One of the best ways to get kids interested in personal finance is to start teaching them early on about budgeting and saving. You can do this by setting up a piggy bank or allowance system where they have to save up for something they want. This will help them understand the importance of delayed gratification and spending within their means.
2) Use real-life examples. Another way to make personal finance more interesting is to use real-life examples whenever possible. For instance, when discussing credit cards and interest rates, you could show them how much more expensive their favorite purchase would be if they put it on a credit card with a high interest rate. This will help them understand how important it is to be mindful of interest rates when borrowing money.
3) Encourage kids to start their own businesses. What better way to teach financial literacy than by encouraging kids to start their own businesses? Not only will this give them first-hand experience in managing money, but it will also instill in them an entrepreneurial spirit that will serve them well later in life. Who knows, you might even have the next Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates on your hands!
Financial Education is Valuable For Everyone
Financial literacy is an important life skill that all students should have the opportunity to learn—yet for some reason, it’s not being taught in schools anymore. There are a few possible explanations for this, but the fact remains that financial education is valuable for everyone. And there are plenty of ways to make personal finance fun and interesting! By teaching kids about budgeting and saving early on, using real-life examples whenever possible, and encouraging them to start their own businesses, we can help instill in them the importance of financial literacy—and set them up for success later in life.