Wow. Why it’s 2021 and financial literacy is left out of most schools’ curriculum is still a huge fat question mark. This and other stats that might not even surprise:
- 69% of Gen Z say they don’t really know how spend vs. save for long-term goals (forget about setting a budget)
- 70% of college grads say they learned finance skills from parents
- Just over 50 states have introduced legislation, await a Governor’s signature or created laws to make finance a part of the state’s high school curriculum. Meaning, half the country is still kinda living in an educational cave
Money can join the ranks of sex, drugs and other awkward topics we’ll have to face one day. Luckily, you wouldn’t be the first one to experiment with how to turn saving, spending, investments and earning fun weekend or dinner table topics. Take budgeting for example. This mom and dad figured out the magic formula to make it way less boring for their 11-year old: give them an annual budget for buying clothes. Or if your entrepreneurial kid is ready to graduate from their lemonade stand business, it would probably make sense to give them this.
It’s never too early to start
Fun fact: even 2 year olds can start learning about money. The point is, you don’t have to wait until they’re old enough for their first credit card. Money literally touches everything in life, so why not start them right now exactly where they are? Let’s teach ourselves how to teach them without boring anyone to tears:
- Ages 9-12: Comparison shopping is a good place to start. Next time you’re out shopping, read the store’s price labels together to factor in size, price and bulk amount per cent. Try out a few brands and figure out what’s best: generic or the brand name.
- Ages 13-15: Pretend to invest in companies! Have each family member pick a stock (try to tailor this to their likes) and then track its performance by reading the paper or watching the news together. Budgeting is also a great topic to introduce here (hello, allowances and 50/30/20 rule).
- Ages 16 and up: Stored-value cards (aka buying cards) are great tools for teaching financial responsibility. That allowance you gave them? Great place to store that money. Side note, it’s also the perfect time to slide in charity and donations. Decide as a family which orgs are worthy of your hard-earned dollar.