Financial education is one of the most glazed over topics in the public school system. Although financial education is a skill that every person needs no matter what line of work they go into for some reason it is virtually ignored in the public education system in favor of less widely necessary courses. It's not that other educational pursuits are less worthy it's that the sheer number of people who need to understand personal finance as well as other areas of financial education have no place to learn these skills until after they need to know themâ¦ that is after they move out of the house and have to fend for themselves in the real world as adults.
Our school systems do preach basic math all throughout the public educational system from beginning to end and fortunately this math is the basis for most forms of financial education and personal financial skills. What is lacking however, is a correlation between the two. Our children need to be taught how basic math skills are applicable to real life from a financial standpoint. When ever a child asks the proverbial question: why do I need to know this, this is a prime opportunity to lay the groundwork for the application financial education.
Improve Financial Education
For instance people need to learn how to calculate a monthly interest payment on their financial obligations. When our kids and teens are learning about fractions and percentages this would be a prime opportunity to build up their financial education to make the material more applicable to their future lives. So often young adults and even older adults have no idea what to expect when they carry a balance on a credit card or when they take out an installment loan.
People need to be able to understand what an amortization schedule is and how it can be useful in a realistic setting. If for instance you have a car loan and you need to pay it off by a certain date because at that time you're expecting tight finances due to budgetary constraints every person should be able to calculate how much to pay every month to pay the loan off in time. This is basic financial education based on simple math that everyone should know how to do.
What is lost on many people is that you don't need to have taken an online higher education course or posses a CPA designation to be able to keep a budget and to plan for cash flow issues. You should be able to evaluate personal investing ideas or analyze a credit offer and understand its basic advantages and disadvantages without having to play guessing games. Basic financial education after all helps you make better decisions in life and can have a direct impact on your quality of life. Poor decisions based on a lack of financial education pushes people into making choices which are contrary to their best interest.
Financial Education In Schools
Our schools to this point have really faltered in the application and teaching of basic financial education however that doesn't mean we as adults and parents should shrug our shoulders and move on. Until the financial education is emphasized in our schools we as parents need to teach these basic skills to our children so that they do not make mistakes that they will have to live with for years on end.
As parents we should be open with family finances and use them as teaching opportunities to our kids. If we use real life situations to apply basic math skills and preparation we can effectively teach the basics of financial education in a way that makes sense and empowers our future generations to make budgets, compare financial offers, save for the future, produce an effective sales and marketing strategy, and make safe investments. Producing more CPAs, MBAs, and finance majors make sense for our society and makes sense for our children.
Especially once our children begin to learn how to fend for their finances and their best financial interest many of the social problems associated with poverty can slowly start to wane in significance. It is my honest belief that a lot of the social problems caused by the lowest socioeconomic tier of the population can be addressed by simply starting off our children's lives with better financial education. They can then go on to live higher quality lives, get their online MBA, save some money here and there, and make the world a better place.
I'm a little altruistic here , I know, but I truly feel that teaching our kids better financial education and from an earlier age is an important and feasible way of fixing the problems of poverty in
Basic financial education doesn't necessarily have to preach that all debt is bad it can inform how financial tools can be used for their advantages rather than in a whimsical manner. Many of the greatest investments me can make in life require leveraging up and investing in the future and people with little to no financial education are at a disadvantage because they don't know how to apply the pieces of the puzzle.
If anything I hope this article inspires you to advance your level of financial education and pass whatever knowledge you can on to your kids. The knowledge of financial education will be invaluable to them as they grow older and enter the real world. They will have a leg up on all of their peers as financial education is almost non-existent in schools, and in that regard maybe it's time we start laboring for education reform. Let's bring financial education to the forefront and introduce quality financial education programs into our schools. Let's work on fixing societal problems stemming from financial ignorance from the bottom up and minimize these problems by educating a new generation in a way that has never happened before.