Importance of Educating Future Generations Personal Finance Management
Many adults struggle to properly care for their finances, and this is an issue that stems from lack of formal education on budgeting, and personal finance strategies. Often, adults graduate from post-secondary institutions with a rough concept of personal finances, but once the real world takes over, they fall short of properly caring for their finances. One strategy to overcome this issue is to introduce formal education for future generations to understand personal finances at a young age. Connor Mulvey is a recent university grad whose career has taken him to the business world, he is one of many that have been forced to learn these fundamental life skills on his own through tough lessons and trial and error. Connor is an advocate for changing the way we teach future generations about personal finances and took the time to explain potential options and why there is a need for change.
The Need for Change
Very few schools educated children and young adults on personal finances as part of their curriculum prior to high school graduation. This has created a void in knowledge that must be filled with some form of education regarding these topics. Connor Mulvey and many other adults have placed a strong emphasis on the need for more financial literacy and competency, claiming that these topics are of extreme importance.
Connor Mulvey explains that financial literacy is not about instilling values equivalent to overall good judgement, it is about ensuring that future generations have the necessary skills to be self-reliant, responsible, economically independent, and understand how to give back to their community. Financial variables should always be a priority in the decision-making process, and in order to accurately make decisions individuals must be financially literate to understand the impacts of a decision.
Approaches to Teaching Children
In an ideal world, children would be exposed to personal financial management at a young age through formal education; however, this is not the current practice. Parent’s who wish to teach their children about personal finances must do so on their own time and must do so in a way that fosters learning. Connor Mulvey explains that the issue with parents teaching their children these life skills is that the parents may not have a complete understanding of the intricacies of personal finances. Another issue that Connor Mulvey highlighted is that many parents do not know where to begin in teaching their children such complex topics and strategies, or even what needs to be taught.
The option that would be most beneficial for future generations is the introduction of formal curriculum that educates children in the classroom. The need for change is obvious, the best approach for children is classroom-based education. The reasoning for this is because students are primed to learn in the classroom, the familiar setting ensures that students are prepared to learn a new topic. Teachers are already trained in child education, and the most efficient path is teachers educating children. Connor Mulvey states that the personal financial management skills must be a lifelong learning process that must begin in childhood or early adolescence.
To cover all the necessary topics for financial literacy education programs, it is important to identify the areas where children must learn. According to Connor, financial independence is built from a complete understanding of the five pillars associated with basic money management: save, spend, invest, donate, and earn. Each of these pillars works together to create a full curriculum for children to have a deep understanding of how these pillars affect each other.
According to Connor, children as young as eight can begin to learn the fundamentals of finance through age appropriate activities and learning opportunities such as the importance of donating time and resources to those in need. As children progress through the educational system, the concepts they learn will also be more in-depth and accurate for their needs such as the explanation of taxes.
Connor Mulvey’s Final Thoughts
It is abundantly obvious that there is a desperate need for future generations to be well educated in personal finance management techniques and skills. Children deserve to grow up with an in-depth understanding of these topics, and currently the only means to gain this knowledge is through parental teachings and this is not always the best option. Connor Mulvey firmly believes that the best course of action for preparing the future generations is through formal education that provides students the opportunity to learn about the five pillars of financial management and how each pillar affects decision making.