Hi there! I’m Liz, the Chief Mom Officer, and I’m thankful to Brian for the opportunity to stop by his site today and discuss one of my favorite topics – kids and money. As the mother of three boys – 14, 10, and 2 – it’s a subject near and dear to my financial heart. Today I’ll explore whether teaching basic financial literacy is the parent’s job, schools job, or maybe both.
A student can, in a majority of states, go through all of high school and college without ever taking a single course teaching them to manage their money. Wise money management is something that’s applicable to every career, every income level, and will be needed throughout their lives – and these kids leave school with no idea on how to do it. Many schools find time to teach cursive writing (which will be forgotten in adulthood, let’s face it) and calculus (used in few jobs) but don’t teach you how compound interest works.
There are 20 states in the US that mandate high school students to take a course in economics. Now I’ve taken several economics courses in both macro- and microeconomics, and very little of it is applicable to personal finance. What about courses in personal finance, then? Apparently, only 17 states mandate that. Our students sit in the middle of the pack worldwide, right between Latvia and Russia, in financial literacy. I’m thinking we can do better than that.
High school students mandated to take basic financial literacy courses have better average credit scores and lower debt delinquency than those that don’t have a similar mandate.
So should we be doing more to teach financial literacy in school? Or is it a parents job?