Why Teach Financial Literacy?
Because if you're like most adults, you weren't taught about money at home or in school. And if you're like most adults, you'd like to see as many children as possible learn how to manage money and create financial freedom for themselves while they are young, so they don't have to learn the hard way!
Because kids and teens aren't learning about money and investing in school or at home and if this doesn't change, we're going to continue having economic challenges as individuals and families forever.
And finally, because financially illiterate kids grow up to be financially illiterate politicians and that is no way to run a county.
Financial Literacy - a few definitions
The ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively
for a lifetime of financial well-being.
Ability to understand finance.
The set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed
and effective decisions through their understanding of finances.
Understanding how to manage money.
For our youth… the building of knowledge and skill, working toward access and applicability.
The ability to make informed judgments and make effective decisions
regarding the use and management of money.
The knowledge and understanding of financial matters.
A spectrum covering financial knowledge and the understanding, confidence and
motivation to make financial judgments and decisions.
Note: The absence of financial literacy often leads to making poor financial decisions, the development of poor financial habits, and can have an adverse effect on the health of an individual, family, and community ~ financially, emotionally, and physically.
Why Financial Literacy for kids and teens?
- Money is the number one cause of divorce in America.
- Money is among the top reasons people commit suicide.
- Approximately 75% of Americans live financially month to month.
- Less than 10% of high school graduates receive any financial education in school.
- According to Nellie Mae (Money Jan. 2004), the average undergraduate debt was $18,900 in 2002, up from $11,400 in 1997.
- College students' average credit card debt rose 46% from 1998 to 2000 to $2,748; nearly 10% of students owe more than $7,000.
- One online job service surveyed college students in 2003 and found that 61% of them said they planned to live with their parents after graduation!
- There appears to be a direct correlation between high school students' scores on financial literacy exams and the number of bankruptcies in the states where they live.
- There is a 'taboo' about talking about money with family and friends.
- Consumer debt and bankruptcies are at an all time high. (Note: humans learn best by example and our government sets the worst financial example there is!).
- Only a third of this country's Baby Boomer generation are saving enough for retirement.
- There is no guarantee that social security will be around when our kids and teens reach retirement age.
- The rules of saving for retirement have changed, from pensions given to employees after many years of dedication to employees being completely responsible for saving for their own futures.
- College students are graduating with soaring credit card debt (not including student loans!) along with their diplomas. Four out of ten college students face 'unmanageable' debt as they finish college and enter the job market.
Up until now, educating kids and teens about money has been left up to parents who often know little about how to make and manage their own finances. It's times to change this.
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And remember, "Don't borrow money unless it makes you money."