Children are smart. They are exposed to more and more things that we did not worry about as children. One of those things is finances. It is more important than ever for a child to have a good financial mindset by the time they exit high school and enter college. The more financially savvy they are, the less of a chance they will incur large amounts of debt and the more likely they are to lead a more financially secure life. Here are a few financial topics that should be covered in school to help lead the way.
Everyone who works pays taxes. This includes young adults. They are responsible for paying Social Security and federal and state taxes. As such, they must know what taxes are and how to do them. This means learning how much they make and how to classify themselves. They also need to know how to fill out 1099 forms, and about tax deductions. Even if their parents file them on their taxes, they should still have some working knowledge of how taxes are filed, the benefits of filing them, and the consequences of not doing so.
Students should also know about how money works and how debt accrues. There are millions of Americans with more than $96,000 in debt. A student can expect to see way more with student loans. If they don’t have the right idea about debt, it can be worse. It’s important to teach students about what constitutes good and bad debt. They need to how debt accumulation works, repayment strategies, and start creating a healthy mindset around money. For those who wish to use a credit card for perks, learning how to cover those charges and keep out of debt is also essential.
Budgeting is also paramount for many reasons, including staying out of debt. A student needs to know how much money they’re bringing in and how to allocate those funds. This means setting a reasonable budget and teaching them how to fund and stick to it.
Teens are more curious about investing strategies. They should learn about the many different avenues of investing. That doesn’t mean just stocks and bonds. They are into pop culture and other alternative investments as well. Understanding safe ways to invest, starting, and investigating their investments are great places to start learning.
Teens should be knowledgeable about financial matters. These are a few financial topics that should be covered in schools. If we institute these across all schools, we will have a knowledgeable set of kids leaving high school and entering the adult world prepared to take on their finances.
Shatel Huntley has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she works with special needs adults and travels the world. Her interests include traveling to off the beaten path destinations, shopping, couponing, and saving.