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Teens Are Optimistic About Their Financial Futures

By Erik Folgate

I was reading the local newspaperr, the Gainesville Sun, and it showed a poll given to teens about how many of them thought that they would be wealthy when they were older. Their biggest dreams were to be rich as the number one reason, famous as the number two answer, and then helping others in need came after that. This is what our culture helps our young people believe. They force the youth to be believe that every one of them can or will be rich and famous. However, what our culture fails to do is teach them how to do it. Kids don’t understand the hard work that goes into building wealth. They don’t realize that 99% of millionaires are self-made millionaires who worked very hard to get where they are today.

We need to add personal finance into regular education cirriculum.  I’ve been on this soapbox before, and I’ll get on it again.  Missouri is one state that has enacted a personal finance course to be taken in order to graduate.  Joy Behrens, the family and consumer sciences departmet chair of North Kansas City High School, said ” A lot of kids are not prepared to manage their income”.   Mrs. Behrens gets it, so why can’t the rest of the states get it?  What is holding this country back from giving better personal finance education.  You can’t use the argument that parents should be teaching good financial practices to their kids, because we teach safe sex in schools.  Wasn’t THAT supposed to be something parents teach their kids, too?

I want to see personal finance education on the high school and college level, although, I think that i might be more mad if that happens, but its taught by the wrong people with the wrong sponsors.  We don’t need Citibank or Bank of America providing this education to children.  I foresee this happening.  Capital One is already trying to get credit cards into the heads of young people.  They have an entire advertisement campaign for young people.  They want credit cards to be associated with being hip, sophisticated, and mature.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that credit cards can be used responsibly, but they will catch up with you, I promise.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • ThisLittlePiggy

    I agree financial education is necessary but should be taught sooner than high school. Also parents also have a responsibility to first learn themselves then pass that information along to their children. Or at least pass along their mistakes so they are not repeated.

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