Before we allow our teenagers to go behind the wheel, we make sure they take the written exam so they understand the basics. Then they must take formal training with the trainer, followed by practice hours. We take those precautions to protect the drivers and to protect others. On the other hand, though American teenagers make financial decisions, but there is no requirement for them to take any financial literacy classes. According to a recent survey, more than 20% of teenagers have below proficient levels of financial literacy.
Financial decisions made early in life are consequential therefore ignorance about financial literacy carries a huge price. That means it’s not just about future stakes. The present, too, is dangerous for these young people. For people—especially young people—to survive and thrive in today’s financial environment, knowledge of personal finance is a necessity. Young Americans carry greater responsibility than previous generations for mapping their own financial security,
The most scalable solution to this problem would be to teach financial literacy in tweens and teen years. We need students to be financially literate before they make financial decisions.
Rather than complaining that our children don’t know enough about managing money, here’s what we can do:
- If your school does not have any programs, offering financial-education programs, suggest some after-school programs.
- As a parent, exercise your influence and teach kids some basics at home.
- If you’re a financial professional, volunteer to teach money-management workshops.
- If you’re a school administrator, become a champion and launch a program on your campus.
Let’s ensure that we all are helping young adults make smart financial decisions.
Gurus Education (www.guruseducation.com) is one such organization that offers Personal Finance programs for 11-18 years old on school campuses, park and recreation departments, Christian schools, charter schools, churches and other organizations. You can reach us at 510 573 2497 or firstname.lastname@example.org to start a program on your school, or after school center.