Personal Finance in US schools – The big fail

Due to a lack in personal finance education, millions of Americans struggle every day with their money. They live pay-check to pay-check, relying on credit cards for necessities, only to wind up deep in debt and short on hope.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. A lot of the money problems Americans are facing could have been avoided if financial literacy was taught earlier, in school.

“To be successful, most kids don’t need to learn about collateralized debt instruments, but they do need to know how to open a bank account. How much they need to save each month to reach their goals. And, if they borrow this amount of money, how much money they will need to earn to pay it back.”-Nan Morrison, president and CEO, Council for Economic Education

Personal Finance in US schools, States ranking

A report produced by the Center for Financial Literacy, at Champlain College in Burlington, Vt. Measuring financial education efforts across the U.S. Shows that:

personal finance us school ranking

Only the five states that got an A are the ones in the country that require students take a dedicated semester of personal finance courses. Nearly a quarter of the states received a failing grade. Those states have, according to the report, virtually no requirements for teaching financial literacy at the high school level, reported Jilian Berman from market watch.

Sadly enough, there has been no change since then in the number of states that require standardized personal finance courses.

There are schools that try to focus on financial material. Unfortunately because they are sponsored by financial institutions, most courses focus on showing students how to become borrowers. It is a time where we need less “how to borrow” information and more “how not to borrow” behavior modification.

Some might say that it’s parents responsibility to educate their kids about personal finance. But when one looks at adult financial behaviour, one can’t help but wonder whether or not these adults will do a good job teaching their children, if they are not correctly monitored and guided by a financial literacy program.

financial literacy for kids and parents

Christopher Needler is a businessman, entrepreneur and the former Chairman of Hull City. he is the co-author of 3 books:
– It Doesn’t Grow on Trees
– Debtwatchers Debt Mastery Program
– Sanity in Clarity