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Americans are Sinking in Debt

Should Financial Skills be Taught At Fallon?
Americans are Sinking in Debt

All around the world adults struggle with financial challenges that aren’t easy to solve. If they had been taught basic financial skills beginning in middle school, could this have prevented these problems from occurring in the first place? 

Money is a huge part of our lives. It gets us the shelter that’s over our heads and the food we eat. Without it, there would be nothing. Even in medieval times, some in higher class nobility used different forms of currency and bartering to buy higher desired items. It’s no surprise that money can change the way we live, but can we change how people handle their money for the betterment of their future? 

Whether it’s student debt, or the inability to manage personal finances, everybody faces financial challenges. Personal finance is managing income, saving, spending, investing, and monetary protection. These are the main five things that are essential when it comes to managing your money as an adult.  However, it’s not that easy to accomplish. There’s been a consistent lack of focus on personal finance education in school curriculums, leading to adults who “don’t know” how, or think managing their finances is “too complicated.” One of the most efficient ways to fix this common problem, and hopefully save this generation from the issue of debt, is through school. Children are more likely to embrace and utilize this knowledge when it is taught consistently throughout their education.  Teaching financial skills starting at the age where students can take learning finance as a habit, positioning it into their daily lives at an early age is one of our best possible solutions. If we have the right techniques and curriculum we can teach children the ways of managing their finances for a better future. 

In addition, Chaplin College states that many of the money problems Americans are facing could have been avoided if financial literacy was taught in school. They believe that more schools should offer financial literacy courses as part of their graduation requirements. Overall, teaching financial literacy in schools can significantly impact students’ lives. Through classes, activities, and simulations, students can learn essential financial skills that will benefit them long after graduation. 

Financial skills are imperative for one’s positive financial future. An article by The California Department of Education states, “Research shows that students who have access to high-quality financial education have better financial outcomes as adults that result in less debt and a higher quality of life.” The world of finance is so vast that when it comes to avoiding problems, such as student debt and ignoring your credit score, finance courses taught in school are just a push to develop a better understanding of monetary management. Instead of the one lesson that might be taught, a compulsory course will help students get exposed to these processes that we may not understand or even know of. If we do implement this into our education system, financial literacy will help the general public be more knowledgeable about financing and money management, which will be very beneficial for our future. 

When students at Fallon were asked their thoughts on the topic, eighth grader, Michelle Ma said, “Kids are going to grow up and accidentally commit tax fraud or evasion or something, since they’ve never learned how to do that stuff.” Most schools do not teach these essential life skills and that is the root of the problem. How would we know how to fix these financial problems that the whole nation has, without people having the basic knowledge of how to save or invest their money properly?

As well as this, Ramsey Solutions says “So it’s no surprise that 71% of people are burdened by debt and assume it’s a normal part of life,” (Ramsey Solutions). Many people think that it should be mandatory for a financial class to be taken as a graduation requirement. 8th grader, Seraphina Beccera says, “Finances are 95% of life after high school, and middle school seems like a good time to learn these things” Even if you don’t want to work in the financial industry, people should still learn the skills to accomplish and prioritize their goals. However, it should not be over-prioritized, as there should be a balance to the things we are learning in school.

To become successful in life, starting in middle school, financial education should be mandatory. Students should be able to understand the basics of financial literacy and navigate the real world to have a successful life. 

 

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Diya Nair, Staff Writer
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