13 Apr Celebrate Financial Literacy!
By Jen Brockett, Rubicon International
April is Financial Literacy Month, during which we reflect on the importance of financial literacy and the ways in which it can be taught in school. Financial literacy is a skill students can take from their education and apply in their everyday life. It is an essential awareness we all need, and the classroom is a great opportunity to impart its knowledge and importance.
To celebrate the value of financial literacy, we reached out to one of our in-house accountants, Jen, to learn why she is passionate about finances and the ways this passion can be translated into teaching. Read on below!
“Where are your receipts?”
For the first few years of our marriage, this was the question my husband most dreaded hearing.
I am an accountant. Within the first week of my first accounting class, I fell in love with tracking the use of money. I loved watching the numbers come in and the numbers go out, creating an intricate puzzle that fit together perfectly. Me and my husband, armed with the knowledge of how we have spent every dollar since we got married, can now use this information to create budgets and set financial goals with ease. As G.I. Joe would say, “now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”
I wish that more time was spent in our schools teaching financial literacy. With the mortgage crisis of 2008, rising personal credit card debt, and the increasing number of people who live paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s clear that we need to educate our children (and ourselves) more on the matter. Our culture teaches us that instant gratification is something we all deserve and that we are free to spend our money on anything that makes us happy. Yet, we seem to be more and more dissatisfied as we fill our homes with fun stuff and our time with costly activities, but dread the monthly bills that arrive. But, when we save our money first and then make informed decisions with it, it frees us to truly enjoy our purchases and expenses because we prepared before spending.
My oldest son just turned 4 and I am excited to start teaching him about earning, spending, saving and giving with money, and how delaying gratification now can bring even more freedom with money later.
To teach financial literacy, here are some resources I find useful and informative:
- The National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, available in Atlas, are robust standards for learning financial skills.
- The National Education Association has several lesson plans and sets, learning activities, and standards for financial literacy.
- TD Bank Wow!Zone provides a library of lesson plans for teaching financial literacy.
- EconEdLink offers a variety of resources for including lesson plans, videos, interactive tools, webinars, and more!
Making finances part of an ongoing discussion throughout a child’s life can prepare them for adulthood and keep them from being caught off guard in the future. Do you have exemplary units for financial literacy? Share them with us at email@example.com!