State Leaders Pushing To Teach All Students How To Budget Money, Balance A Checkbook In High School

Our economic fall has been largely supported by mortgage lenders, insurance companies, and investment firms, but, we must admit, we have become greedier than ever.

We all want a cozy, large house, luxurious furniture, a nice car, summer holidays, short weekend trips, fabulous outfits, jewels..but wait..have you looked inside your wallet?

Most of us have not been taught to handle money responsible on time, which led to numerous problems later in life. As of 2019, the collective credit card debt of the U.S. reached 1.08 trillion dollars, and this does not involve student loans, mortgages, and car loans.

While debts help us buy necessary things we otherwise cannot afford, this number is alarming, to say the least.

Therefore, many pose a question:

“Why are our children spending so much time learning advanced trigonometry and algebra when they have no idea how to do simple financial math?”

Well, a business school in New Haven decided to address the issue. Students can attend a course called The Jumpstart program, which teaches them to use a calculator, write out a bank check, and balance a budget.

They will be grouped with professional financial advisors to deliver the curriculum.

Connecticut State Senator Doug McCrory has taught middle school math in Hartford for 15 years, so he knew that many students do not have the necessary financial knowledge.

Being a chair of the education committee, his goal is to push for a pilot program on financial literacy in the next legislative session.

He cited a study by Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy, which showed “that for those students who have a financial literacy course, their credit scores are much better, financially they are doing much better.”

The senator stated that only 17 states require students to take a personal finance course to be able to graduate high school. He said alliance districts and those in urban areas lack the resources to offer the opportunity.

A Wethersfield school offers an elective personal finance course, and students and their parents loved it. School superintendent Michael Emmett said that the course offers “real-word, practical content that students will benefit from regardless of their post-secondary plans.”

McCrory hopes that lawmakers will vote to make financial literacy a mandated course, initially in the middle schools:

“Introducing it into the curriculum at an early age so that by the time they get to high school they will be ready for it. They will know what credit is, they will know what interest rate is.”

The findings of a 2019 Everfli survey that involved more than 30,000 students suggest that 65% of them left high school without taking a single personal finance course.

Finance experts maintain that it is the responsibility of the parents to fill those gaps and prepare their children to be financially stable in life.

Michael Martin, a financial advisor with Marius Wealth Management in New York City, claims that children need to know three important elements, “and the basic understanding of money, debt and compound interest.”

Yet, numerous parents avoid finances in their conversations with their children, often because they lack basic financial knowledge themselves, but many do it because they feel embarrassed by their current financial situation.

The survey the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) conducts every three years shows that the scores of Americans are decreasing.

Two-thirds of the adults in the country cannot pass a basic financial test.

The lack of financial knowledge negatively affects the new generations, and a survey found that 76 percent of Millennials lack basic financial knowledge, and 70 percent of them are stressed and anxious about saving for the future, money investment, and sticking to a budget.

Almost 60% of Americans have less than ten thousand dollars saved for retirement, and one in three of them have no retirement savings at all.

Therefore, most experts agree that bringing financial literacy into schools might mitigate these problems.

McCrory maintains that this investment will be highly beneficial in the long run, so the future generations will be able to make better financial decisions.