One of the most frequent comments we receive when teaching basic money principles is this: “I wish I would’ve learned this stuff sooner!”
That’s understandable. When you’re 30 years old, strapped with student loan debt, up to your eyeballs in credit card payments, and owe more on your car than what it’s worth, you might wish someone had taught you a little about handling money before you stepped out on your own.
All of this points back to one topic: financial literacy. So why does it matter?
- Good habits start early. According to a 2011 Charles Schwab survey, only 60 percent of teens know how to write a check and only 35 percent can balance a checkbook or check the accuracy of a bank statement. If an 18-year-old understands just a few money basics before they head to college, they have a head start on most of their peers — and are in even better shape for their future.
- The students will eventually become the teachers. As this generation of teenagers grows into adults, they’ll have the opportunity to pass along the principles they’ve learned to the next generation. By teaching our kids now, we have the chance to start a movement! Imagine, 50 years from now, if every adult in America understood the importance of budgeting and the dangers that come with debt and credit.
- Financial literacy is more important now than ever. According to The 2015 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, 60 percent of adults spend without a budget. If the parents aren’t budgeting, then how do we expect their kids to learn budgeting? Only when our teens begin to understand basic money principles will we begin to see a brighter outlook for our future.
Think about it. What if young people didn’t think it is impossible to go to college without a loan? What if, when they start their first job, they already know how to invest in retirement? What if, instead of saying “I wish I would have learned this stuff sooner,” they actually understand basic money principles at 18?
April is National Financial Literacy Month, which is a great opportunity to spread the word about the importance of learning money management at an early age.
This topic has the power to change the future of our country.
—Used with permission from DaveRamsey.com
*Foundations in Personal Finance is an easy to use, turnkey school curriculum that guides students down the path of financial literacy by teaching them the value of saving, spending wisely, and giving. For more information on the curriculum, go to daveramsey.com/school.