The Skill Every Middle Schooler Needs to Know

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If you’ve seen the movie Clueless, you’ve seen the comical side of teenage spending.

Alicia Silverstone’s character, Cher, is a classic shopaholic. She lives for her next purchase, which usually means a plaid miniskirt or a pair of bright red pumps. It was 1995, okay?

Now, imagine Cher with a smartphone and unlimited access to online shopping. Scary.

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The Advertising Pull

Today’s teens and tweens are faced with overwhelming pressure to wear the latest fads and own the hottest devices. And it’s no wonder. For as long as they can remember, advertisers have been clamoring for their money via online pop-ups and ever-present product placements.

Really, kids are just doing what they’ve been told.

According to a survey from H&R Block, 57% of teens age 13-17 make purchases using their own money, but only 17% of those students maintain a budget. This small statistic speaks volumes. Because if teens don’t know how to handle the little they’re making now, they definitely won’t know what to do with their future paychecks.

And in a country that’s already trillions of dollars in debt, we don’t need a generation of indebted leaders calling the shots. It’s time to teach kids how to budget.

The Knowledge Gap

Think about it this way: Could a seventh grader who was never taught basic math or English succeed in one of those fields down the road? Not likely. So why do we expect our teens and tweens to make smart decisions about money when we don’t teach them how to do so in the first place?

Budgeting is a learned skill, not a natural gift.

So the younger a student learns how to take charge of their spending, saving and giving, the brighter their financial future will be. In fact, we hear from people every single day who wish they would have learned how to control their money at a much younger age. We couldn’t agree more!

The Big Reveal

Back in January 2015, we announced the creation of a brand-new product for middle school students based around our wildly popular Foundations in Personal Finance curriculum. And it’s finally here: Foundations in Personal Finance: Middle School Edition for Homeschool!

Middle school is the perfect place for students to test the budgeting waters. Because just around the corner are high school and first cars, college and careers, and marriage and mortgages.

It’s a tough world out there. We want our kids—ahem, our future leaders—to grow up with more than great math skills. We want them to grow up with great money skills too.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll even begin paying off the national debt in the process. We certainly hope so!

Foundations in Personal Finance: Middle School Edition for Homeschool is a turnkey personal finance curriculum that equips you to teach students how to avoid debt, budget with intention, invest early, and build wealth so they can live generously. For more information about the Foundations curriculum, visit daveramsey.com/school.

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