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Reasons why Teaching Students About Personal Finance Could've Averted a Crisis

High school doesn't always prepare us for managing real-life expenses and that's when adulting becomes chaotic.
Image Source: Photo by George Milton |Pexels
Image Source: Photo by George Milton |Pexels

High school education is pl for preparing students for their future careers, but amidst focus on other subjects, there's an absence of attention given to personal finance education in the classroom.

The "Financial Literacy Crisis in America 2023" report sheds light on this issue, emphasizing the lack of personal finance education in America and the lasting impact it has on individuals even after high school graduation.

Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska|Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska|Pexels

Managing the expenses of college tuition, rent, groceries, and saving for future goals can often feel like juggling multiple priorities with limited resources. It's no surprise that many Americans find themselves grappling with the complexity of financial decision-making.

The survey's findings reveal that 88% of respondents feel that their high school education fell short in adequately preparing them for real-world financial management. This sentiment suggests a significant gap between the theoretical knowledge imparted in traditional academic subjects and the practical skills necessary for navigating the complexities of everyday financial challenges.

Three out of four US adults (74%) also stated that they frequently or occasionally experienced stress due to money.

Image Source: Photo by Pixabay |Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Pixabay |Pexels

A sense of regret over the lack of financial education during their high school years and a belief that such knowledge would have significantly improved their financial management skills is common among Americans. According to recent surveys, a staggering 8 in 10 U.S. adults express the belief that they would have been better equipped to handle their finances had they received more education on personal finance during high school.

Specifically, 74% of respondents believe they would have made fewer money mistakes, while an almost equal number feel they would be further along in their financial journey. The impact of financial education extends beyond monetary outcomes, with 76% of respondents expressing that they would have experienced less stress surrounding financial matters if they had received instructions on personal finance during their high school years.

The scarcity of personal finance education in America is undeniable, with only a mere 17% of U.S. adults reporting that they took a personal finance class during their high school years. This deficiency can largely be attributed to the fact that only 25 states currently mandate a personal finance course as a requirement for high school graduation. Adults who participated in a high school personal finance class are five times more likely to feel fully equipped to handle money after graduation compared to those who did not take such a class.

Image Source: Photo by Nicola Barts | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Nicola Barts | Pexels

But, there are indications that efforts to enhance access to personal finance education are gaining traction. With a renewed focus on increasing students' exposure to financial literacy in high school, younger generations are more likely to have taken a personal finance course. Among these, Gen Z leads the way, with 30% having completed such a course, followed by millennials at 20%, Gen X at 17%, and baby boomers at 7%.

More high schools are teaching about money, which is good news. States are now saying students have to learn about money before they finish school. People are also talking more about why it's important to know how to handle money. Students are already seeing the good effects of these changes. Just like not learning about money has caused problems, now that more schools are teaching it, students will benefit for their whole lives.