Is it surprising to know that only 21 states in the United States actually require you to take personal finance in high school to graduate? However, 15 out of 21 of these states do not require standalone personal financial education courses, rather, they put a bit of personal finance into another course. So in reality, only high school students from about six states may be learning about personal finance. Also, only about 26 states even require schools to offer a personal finance course in high school.
Why is Financial Education Important:
Financial literacy is important to anyone, of any age. To be financially literate, you need to know about important financial concepts because you’ll use them in your daily life as you get older. Being financially literate means being able to manage your money well, like budgeting, donating, debt, investing, and saving.
Many people who don’t learn about personal finance early may struggle in their adulthood with financial difficulties. For example, many Americans worry daily about their finances. They have trouble buying homes, investing for their retirement, and saving money. They also don’t financially plan ahead.
How to Get Financial Education:
One of the best ways to learn anything is by self-studying. This means reading books on the topic, which you can find online, to perusing other publications that also talk about personal finance. Today, with technology improving so much, there are also many online financial management tools that you can use, such as Personal Capital. Some of these tools are even free if you’re looking for a low-cost option. Next, you can listen to a variety of financial podcasts or even take a course. This depends on your learning style like if you are a kinesthetic, visual, or verbal learner. And last but not least, government sites also contain helpful resources to learn about personal finance. You can check your state website or the federal one.
A different way to receive financial education is by petitioning your school or state. There are many petitions online, so you don’t have to start one to participate. Petitioning for financial education to be required in high school, such as offering it as a course or a graduation requirement, can often set you up for a better future living the lifestyle you want. Also, the earlier you get started on your financial education means a better financial life for you.
Written by Allie Chang