A 2013 financial literacy survey conducted by EverFi, an education technology company, revealed a lack of basic understanding of financial facts and concepts among high school students between the ages of 13 and 18. Of the 505 students surveyed, nearly half do not know about establishing good credit, and more than a quarter believe they are unprepared to manage their own finances post-high school. About 83% of the students polled believe that personal finance should be mandatory in schools, yet there are only four U.S. states (Utah, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia) that require a semester-long course on the topic. Grim as the statistics in the survey may seem, the good news is that there are many resources available now to parents with learning tools designed to help and direct young adults to a responsible financial path.
Rich Kid Smart Kid is the educational arm of the Rich Dad Company. Designed for kids, the site incorporates games such as Jesse’s Ice Cream Stand to explain basic concepts of borrowing and investing. While most of the tools are geared for young children, there are a range of lesson plans for parents (and educators) that are also appropriate for high school-aged audiences.
Interactive play through videos and games is an effective way to engage kids about money, savings, and credit. The federal government’s information site, Kids.gov, has money-centered areas for grades K-5 and grades 6-8. Money As You Grow is an initiative from the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. It offers age-appropriate financial lessons and activities and written in language for children and their families.
Money Talks from the University of California Cooperative Extension is a bilingual site designed to help teens learn independently on subjects such as buying a car, grocery shopping, and savings made simple. The National Endowment for Financial Education’s My Bread is for college-bound high schoolers with a focus on savings for college and career planning.
These are just some of the websites available to help engage young people about personal finance. Parents need not worry that their own financial knowledge is not up to par. According to EverFi’s research, only 26% of parents feel prepared to handle their kids’ financial education. But parents don’t have to explain how Wall Street works to pique their children’s interest. Learning side-by-side allows kids to participate in the process, thereby empowering them to think about their own finances. The bottom line is very familiar: all education begins at home.
You are invited to attend the upcoming wine and cheese event of The Women’s Roundtable: Taking Charge of Your Financial Future, to be held on Wednesday, September 18 at 5:30 p.m. at our Oakland, California office at 1111 Broadway, Suite 1630.
Reservations for you (and a guest, if you wish) are required. To RSVP or for more information, contact Jaye Roundtree at 510.433.1066, ext. 100 or email@example.com.
For more information on The Women’s Roundtable watch our video below.