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A Forward Approach: Financial Literacy in Education

We recently posted an article on Facebook that got a lot of engagement from our audience, so it led us to investigate why this topic was so popular and important to the community. Much of the feedback revolved around individuals wishing they had received financial education in school and believe that if they had, they would have made “better” financial decisions as adults. With graduation and summer upon us, we thought it important to revisit this topic again and encourage you to find resources for your children if they are not receiving this information in school.

Financial literacy and education need to start early in a child’s education, taking place both at home and in school. Just like learning to read or how to solve fractions, financial education should be taught as early as elementary school and continue into middle and high school. Understanding what financial stability is and how to reach it is important as children grow up; however, when it comes to middle school-level education, statistics show that only 28 states have recommended financial literacy standards. This lack of knowledge in adolescence further affects adulthood, exhibited by 63% of the nation not being able to pass a basic financial literacy quiz. Let’s take a deeper look at the importance of financial education, how you can take charge, and what its teachings can help accomplish.  

Young adults graduating from high school are not as financially educated or prepared as they should be. Teaching kids how to save may be easy, but understanding what it means to invest, how important reducing debt is, and money management are just a few topics that need more attention. Personal financial education can help teach students about:

  • Mortgage banking
  • Insurance options
  • Rent-to-own products
  • Credit cards, reports, and scores
  • Managing money
  • Loans

By teaching kids about finances in school, they can make important financial decisions later on in life. Some of these include where they’ll go to college, if they’ll pursue higher education, what to major in, and more. Learning more about finances and what they entail prepares students for their futures and won’t be as overwhelming when the time comes to apply for loans, financial aid, or credit cards.

A solid financial curriculum throughout elementary, middle, and high school is imperative for children to find stability as they grow up. An article from Governing.com shares that “40 percent of U.S. adults don’t have enough savings to cover a $400 emergency,” and one needs to be prepared for unexpected bills, accidents, or events. If schools and educational facilities do not take action towards better preparing children for a positive financial future, this statistic could worsen. To combat this, consider signing up yourself or your children up for online classes. There are many options to pursue financial independence and gain the knowledge needed to be smart with money.

Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services is aware that financial education is not harnessed enough throughout the stages of adolescence and adulthood. Because of this, we offer ways to help you become financially literate and independent. These efforts will lead you to a successful future with your finances. If looking for additional financial counseling, our programs are designed to support and assist individuals in understanding and mastering the “basic” financial habits of budgeting, managing credit, and homeownership. See what we offer by reaching out to us at info@eastbaynhs.org, calling (510) 237-6459, or visiting our programs page.

Students being taught in classroom

Resources:
https://www.champlain.edu/centers-of-experience/center-for-financial-literacy/report-national-high-school-financial-literacy/the-case-for-high-school-financial-literacy
https://www.governing.com/topics/education/gov-financial-literacy-us-schools-k-12.html
Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. (510) 237-6459 info@eastbaynhs.org
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