Anyone who’s ever struggled with a difficult class in high school has asked the question, Will I ever actually use this stuff after I graduate?
Now that you’re on this side of graduation with high-school-aged kids of your own, you know they probably won’t factor equations, diagram sentences, or need to remember what E stands for in E=mc2 on a daily basis. But one thing is for sure: They will need to know how to handle money wisely—and the sooner the better!
That’s why we’re such huge fans of teaching financial literacy in schools.
What Is Financial Literacy?
Financial literacy classes teach students the basics of money management: budgeting, saving, debt, investing, and giving. That knowledge lays a foundation for students to build strong money habits early on and avoid many of the mistakes that lead to lifelong money struggles.
Why We Think Personal Finance Belongs in High Schools
As a country, we’ve seen where a lack of personal finance education can lead. Millions of Americans struggle every day with their money, living paycheck to paycheck and relying on credit cards for necessities, only to wind up deep in debt and short on hope.
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Beyond that, many Americans are finding that they can’t buy homes, invest for retirement, or save for their child’s college fund because of their own student loan debt, massive car payments, and general lack of financial planning.
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. That’s why we think more schools should offer financial literacy courses as part of their graduation requirements.
Personal Finance Courses Give Students the Habits to Win With Money
So what advantages are there to learning money principles as a student rather than as an adult? Well, students who learn personal finance principles early have the most time to apply what they know, getting the most out of their knowledge. Even better, many personal finance students apply what they learn right away—while they’re still in high school.
For example, according to a survey conducted by Ramsey Research in 2016, nearly two out of three high school students who had taken a personal finance course reported they were already earning an average of $3,000 a year.
A high majority of the same group said they were in the habit of creating monthly budgets for their money. And 20% already owned a car they paid for themselves! That’s why the basics of personal finance should be taught in high schools everywhere, right alongside other basics like reading and math.
Think about the jump start your child could get on life if, when they graduated high school, they were already in the habit of budgeting, saving regularly and spending wisely! They could have thousands of dollars saved in the bank as well as a paid-for car and the beginnings of a retirement fund.
And that’s not just a dream; it’s the reality for many students nationwide who are gaining important money skills at an early age. These students are the proof that as many schools as possible should be teaching financial literacy.
It’s because of dedicated educators across the country that over 3 million students have already learned Dave Ramsey’s life-changing principles through Foundations in Personal Finance: High School Edition. This month, we’re celebrating them in a really special way!
Dave Ramsey’s Teacher Appreciation Giveaway, sponsored by Churchill Mortgage, runs throughout the month of April. Teachers can enter for a chance to win a $10,000 teachers’ lounge makeover, one of three $1,000 gift cards, a school assembly with Ramsey Personality Anthony ONeal, or even a $5,000 all-inclusive vacation for two. Teachers can enter at daveramsey.com/teacher, so share this Giveaway with the teachers in your life today! The Giveaway ends April 30.