Financial Literacy (The New Core Subject!)
Financial Literacy is as essential as reading, writing, and arithmetic!
Like it was yesterday, I can remember the day the lightbulb went on for me about the need for financial literacy in the classroom.
I was volunteering in my son’s grade 3 class and the teacher was having a discussion about jobs and the different things people do for a living. Naturally, the kids talked about what they see every day, their parents’ occupations. The interesting thing for me was to hear their impressions about income and how connected it was to what they think is a good job and a bad job.
My professional background is in banking and I have seen all kinds of situations pass through my doors. Some, where people made a lot of money but couldn’t manage it, and some, where people made comparatively smaller salaries but managed it very well. I have always taught my boys smart money habits (probably in large part because of my profession), but I thought everyone talked to their kids about money. I found the opposite to be true.
The teacher allowed me to explain my job to the kids. I shared the importance of money management and how sometimes it is not how much money you make, it’s how smart you are with it that matters. We had a great discussion about spending habits and budgeting. We also talked about saving and the importance of planning.
I learned 2 things that day… First, many parents aren’t talking to their kids about basic money skills or financial understanding. Maybe they don’t think about it or maybe they don’t know how to talk about it. Second, and maybe more importantly, the kids loved learning about money! The discussions were animated and eager. Young and open minds are precisely when we need to introduce responsible money habits… habits that they can carry with them into adulthood.
Teaching financial literacy in the classroom is a benefit to everyone. To the teachers who want to truly make a difference in the lives of their students, to the parents who aren’t sure how to do it themselves, and most importantly to the kids who are learning these concepts.
Thank you to all the teachers who are introducing these very essential lessons in their classrooms!
A future full of financially independent adults