Study Shows Teaching Teens Financial Literacy Pays Off in the Future

an inside look at how money works

Today’s schools are starting kids earlier in just about every department: math, science, literature, languages, and so many more.

The idea here is that, since children soak up knowledge faster and more readily than adults, it’s best to get the lessons going at an early age so they’re more likely to retain them into adulthood.

In short, taking advantage of wisdom you learned at age 6 is a lot easier than stumbling onto it at age 26 and playing catchy-up with the world.

This same philosophy should apply to the financial world as well, particularly savings, budgeting and making better decisions.

Starting Off on the Right Financial Foot

If kids begin the path to monetary carefulness early on, they won’t be so tempted to blow all their earnings on toys they’ll never play with, clothing that costs them an entire paycheck, and an overall lifestyle they can’t afford.

This is backed up by a recent study conducted by financial literacy organizations EverFi and Higher One.

They took 65,000 college students, some of which took a financial literacy course in high school and some who did not.

They were all given a survey of their financial habits, and the ones who studied basic finance in high school proved to be far more responsible with their cash than the ones who did not.

This shows that, even though they don’t always seem to be doing so, kids do pay attention to what people tell them.

So if you teach them from an early age to not carry too many credit cards, to not buy things they can’t afford, and to set up a budget that tracks everything they give their cash to, they’ll probably abide by those rules for the rest of their lives.

And yet, the vast minority of kids take these courses, because the vast majority of schools don’t offer them. Right now, only 17 states require that their high schools offer at least one course on financial literacy.

Why the other 33 aren’t interested in doing so is a mystery to everyone.

Perhaps they feel that managing money is common sense? Because based on the amount of debt we’ve accumulated and continue to accumulate, clearly it’s not.