Why Isn’t Personal Finance Taught in Schools?
Why don’t they teach our children about money in school? Our school systems teaches/taught us many subjects such as math, reading, science, writing, history, and languages. But money is not one of them.
The failure to recognize financial literacy as one of the core skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century is a travesty. Money is one of the essential things in our lives, but we don’t learn anything about it in school. Here are five reasons why:
1. The Lack of Urgency in the System
Money is not seen as an academic subject in the current education system. This is due to the curriculum being drawn up many generations ago. Students were instructed to work hard, obtain an education, graduate, and enjoy all the freedoms of a well-paying job with a pension. This plan is longer feasible because the world has changed. Money is one of the most important things in our lives. We need money to buy food, clothes, and shelter.
2. No One Knows How to Teach Financial Literacy
As a result of the school system’s lack of modernization, experts who teach financial literacy are few and far between-especially for Blacks. Many teachers unfortunately lack the knowledge themselves on financial literacy, they are ill prepared to teach it to students. The school system is geared on subjects sought after by colleges and universities. Teachers are not educated and don’t have experience in basic money management. So, adding a less glamorous course in financial literacy to the roster is very difficult.
3. Families Lack Critical Financial Education
As with most life skills, the best education starts at home. But when it comes to talking about money - like the school system - it is hard to teach children what you don’t know. Most parents try to teach their children about money by setting an example. However, this usually doesn’t work because it’s hard for them to change their spending habits. They also typically don’t have the money, knowledge, or financial skills to give their children sound advice. Schools can help fill this gap by teaching students about money.
4. A Vested Interest
Some say that there is a more sinister reason as to why education in financial literacy is lacking: consumerism. More debt owed means higher interest payments owed to banks, corporations and others. The Black Community spent over $1.6 trillion last year in the U.S. and is dead last in most economic categories with reference to net worth and personal wealth. How can that be? Most of us are bombarded with advertisements on how to buy and spend but not on how to save and invest.
5. It’s Intimidating
Financial jargon is complex and difficult for the average American to fully understand. This has the effect of intimidating many adults and preventing them from asking critical questions about their financial well-being. We are simply taught that we need money to survive and put a roof over our heads. It can be too easy for consumers to feel overwhelmed with financial information. It is essential for students and parents to get access to “investment” 101 courses and personal financial coaches.
The Bottom Line
Despite the countless reasons why financial literacy is not taught in schools, and the arguments as to why it should be, there are resources available to help increase financial literacy and improve the state of your finances.
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share investment and money management strategies with you every week. The mission is to help students, parents, and investors expand their financial skills and enjoy the quality of life without worrying about the lack of money.