Teaching financial literacy to teens and young adults is critically important

Obtaining an education is about much more than learning to read and write; in the digital age, younger generations are being called upon to make a significantly greater number of financial decisions than in past years, which means that we need to ensure that our children understand the nature and consequences of the financial decisions they make. Financially literate individuals know how to make financial decisions with confidence and know how to analyse the consequences of their choices. Their knowledge makes it possible to make good investments, create wealth, and consider various credit options when necessary, choosing the best loan/mortgage based on their circumstances. Financial literacy is a complex behavior that is the cornerstone of independent living. Simply put, financial literacy is the understanding of one’s finances, the use and value of money, and how to navigate various financial systems (e.g. banks, credit card companies, the I.R.S., a company’s payroll system, and social service entitlements). Financial literacy is a behavior consisting of a series of basic building blocks. These building blocks should be addressed early in a child’s education and include behaviors such as number recognition, counting, identification of denominations of coins and bills, and basic arithmetic skills (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division). Without these basic building blocks in place, a student will struggle with more complex financial literacy behaviors such as setting a budget and reconciling a check book or credit card account. By the time a student reaches high school they should be ready to learn these higher level financial literacy skills. This is why I challenge you to help me achieve my goal. Of helping our youth.

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