Finance is not usually taught in school until you reach college, if at all. However, kids should begin learning about money in elementary school.
If young children were to learn the basics of finance and gain a strong foundation to build upon, they would encounter far less confusion when they are thrust from the public education system into the real world, bombarded with credit card applications and huge financial decisions for which they aren’t prepared to face.
ABC’s of Personal Finance
If money management was taught in elementary school, it might go something like this:
A Is for Affordable
There really are Affordable Modes of Transportation still available. In fact, in most parts of the world, you don’t need a car to get to where you need to be.
B Is for Borrow
As the saying goes, it takes money to make money. But what if you don’t have any money and an opportunity you feel you can’t pass up presents itself? Despite the potential risks, you can always resort to Borrowing to Invest. Is it a viable option?
C Is for College
The choice of whether to go to college is proving to be extremely difficult for many people. These Money Saving Tips for College Students can help make the choice more clear.
D Is for Dragon
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: 10 Personal Finance Lessons. While not fit for children to watch, there are plenty of great lessons found in this foreign film brought to our national silver screens.
E Is for Evolution
Step aside, Darwin – this is survival of the fittest financier, and the battlefield has spread across nations with The Evolution of Foreign Exchange Markets.
F Is for Freelance
While jobs are scarce and part-time work is in high demand, freelancing may be a viable option. How to Find a Freelance Writing Gig can point you in the right direction.
G Is for Getting Out
Get Out of Debt in 2012: Cutting the Fat. Getting out of debt can help you feel that you’re in control of your own life, and opens up many opportunities for your future.
H Is for Hierarchy
The Hierarchy of Financial Aid can help you understand the complexities and processes of applying and procuring financial aid for your higher education.
I Is for Investing
Investing is a game of chance. No matter how much research you do, no investment is 100% safe. However, every investment, win or lose, is a learning experience. I Lost 100% of My Investment and I’m Happy I Did!
J Is for Jobs
By Working Two Jobs at Once, you can get a leg up on your debt payments or put larger amounts toward retirement or savings goals. It’s not easy, but it can be very rewarding.
K Is for Keep
Keeping your savings safe from yourself is sometimes more of a challenge than one might expect, and the consequences of dipping in may not be apparent until it’s too late. Learn How to Stop Dipping in Your Savings by taking a lesson from the film “Up.”
L Is for Life
Life is a mystery that everyone has to figure out on their own. What makes your life complete? What makes you feel fulfilled? No one can tell you these things because it’s different for everyone, but one thing to consider is that Sometimes It’s the Simple Things in Life that make it all worthwhile.
M Is for Myths
There are many Myths and Rituals That Perpetuate the Mystery and Power of Money. Things that we noticed our parents doing as kids, or things we figured out all on our own. They may be myths, but they make life and money much more interesting.
N Is for Not
Not playing into the market, nor heeding the advice of experts can sometimes be the best decision you can make. It may be a buyers’ market, but a house is still a major expense. Check out Why We Decided Not to Buy a House.
O Is for Ouch
Spent $1,000 in 24 Hours, Ouch! Spending money isn’t always pleasant, especially when big chunks of cash rapidly fly from your wallet. However, sometimes we need to ignore the pain of spending and enjoy what we have earned.
P Is for Productive
Learning How to Be More Productive at Work can help you keep your job, climb the corporate ladder, or simply live a more fulfilling life.
Q Is for Question
Being inquisitive is the first step toward making positive change. Do You Know Why You Spend Money?
R Is for Retire
How Much Do You Need to Retire? Have you looked into this lately? No matter how young you are, create a target number so you can examine your progress and know what you need to do any point in your life to retire comfortably.
S Is for Schedule
When this author says I Love Bank of America and Their New Fee Schedule, he means it.
T Is for Travel
Travel expenses can be outrageous. With the rising price of fuel, international travel is especially increasing in cost. These 10 Tips to Reduce International Travel Expenses will come in handy as you circle the globe.
U Is for Up
This is the direction in which you hope your credit score will go. Your Credit Score Is Priceless, and factors into major life events, such as buying a house or getting a great job. Do you know yours?
V Is for Vanish
After just one fill-up at the pump, a large chunk of change can vanish from your bank account. The Cost of Gas: Who to Blame and What to Do About It.
W Is for Warning
While warnings keep us safe from harm, not everything that is dangerous has a warning label. So Beware: ETFs Should Come With a Warning Label.
X Is for Expenses
Moving can cause a great amount of stress and cost thousands of dollars. Though relocating will always be trying, you can at least trim the expense. Here are 10 Ways to Cut Costs on Moving Expenses.
Y Is for Yourself
Always follow the Golden Rule of Smart Investing: Pay Yourself First. This ensures that you are saving enough money for your future and that very little money goes to waste once bills are paid. It takes discipline, but is well worth it.
Z Is for Zero
Save Money: Embrace Free. Getting something for free feels great, and your bank account will thank you later. Procuring free items is really an art though, and can take some time to get the hang of.
That’s all for today’s class! Be sure to practice your cursive letters too – you’ll use them the rest of your life.
(photo credit: Shutterstock)