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Finance 101
Old 09-23-2008, 10:18 AM   #1
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Finance 101

We teach teens trigonometry, why not Money 101? - Yahoo! News

Sort of a rehash but still interesting especially in times like these.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:39 AM   #2
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I strongly believe that personal finance should be a required course in high school. For most people it would be more useful and relevant to their lives than being able to identify the different types of triangles or how to calculate a square root.

I remember in high school doing home economics which involved doing a cooking class for 6 months. What they should have been doing was teaching how to cook healthy basic foods, instead we learnt how to cook frou-frou sponge cakes and the like. Needless to say I have not used anything I learnt in that class.

They should try and relate classes to the real world where possible.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:06 AM   #3
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After watching the testimony in front of the senate today, it looks like our elected officials could use it too.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:10 AM   #4
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Our local high school has added a course in financial literacy. It was nice to be consulted by the teacher, too. Of course the same teacher was also strongly enticed by another teacher's persuasive sales talk on multi-level marketing.

Unfortunately while teachers are given extra pay/seniority incentives to teach AP courses or to raise their student's test scores, I don't see that the schools have any incentive or even mandate to teach financial literacy. Ironically if it came to a choice of cutting other academics, PE, sports, or improving the school lunches, then IMO the financial-literacy program should be the first to go.

A while back I read a sci-fi book with an interesting social sidelight. Schools of the future had decided that it was useless to teach advanced math & science to young kids. Instead they were taught "life skills" like basic literacy, common languages, geography & cultures, using a computer, rudimentary financial management, how to shop for clothes & other personal possessions, personal physical fitness, basic home & vehicle maintenance, how to use public transportation, how to order in a restaurant, how to use good manners to interact politely & ethically with society, and generally how to be good citizens. Then when they hit the age of 14 these proficient members of society could choose their tracks of science, engineering, humanities, fine arts, or whatever college/vocational career tracks they cared to pursue.

What a great idea. We could call it something retro like... hmmm... I know, "homeschooling"!

I think financial life skills education should remain in the public sector and in the home...
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:38 PM   #5
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When I was a long term substitute teacher in a less pleasant financial time, I was amazed at the level of financial ignorance that existed. My youngest daughter is now teaching and is shocked at how poorly teachers with 20 or more years of experience have arranged their financial lives. She has all sorts of horror stories. She's somewhat getting scared straight even if it's a little late in some ways. Hopefully, she can dig herself out of the hole.

I wouldn't trust the public schools to teach a financial literacy course to the whole student body. They already teach "life skills" as part of special ed. Although they have a tough group of students, its still pretty sloppy with lots of stuff missing.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:23 PM   #6
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I think financial life skills education should remain in the public sector and in the home...
Unfortunately theres a dearth of adequate teachers
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:26 PM   #7
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They need to do a better job teaching the basic math - the rampant innumeracy (of which I am a part of, even though I passed the AP calc test) is the problem...so whatever you call the class, it won't matter if the kids can't do the math or "understand" what those number mean...
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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I think its a great idea. Provided the schools can bring our kids up to international standards in math, science, reading, etc, etc, first.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:04 PM   #9
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Hey, I'd be pretty happy with the basic skills involved in understanding debt and mortgages to the extent where half of the public doesnt wind themselves up in a morass requiring a trillion dollar rescue by the federal government.

They can learn how to read on their own time.

I wonder what other cultures do with regards to teaching money skills...?
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:08 PM   #10
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I remember some sort of financial literacy class but it was taught way too early, probably 6th grade or so. I was more intrigued by the little fake checks than anything that was being said.

Be much better in late high school years when many kids (at least these days) are starting to have their own credit cards to go along with the bank accounts and first jobs of previous generations.
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Old 09-23-2008, 10:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
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We teach teens trigonometry, why not Money 101? - Yahoo! News

Sort of a rehash but still interesting especially in times like these.
I agree...although I think parents own some of this burden of teaching their kids. The problem with that? the parents are the ones who spend more than they make, take out loans for more than they can afford, and are in debt on many credit cards.

I have several nephews. Upon their 18th birthday, they receive from me two gifts. One is a "regular" gift, the other is this link.

Money 101 - Financial Advice & Lessons Made Easy by CNNMoney.com

I tell them that if they read, follow, and understand even 75% of what's in there, they'll be better off than most Americans.

Dave
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:42 PM   #12
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Missouri has a required Personal Finance course in high school. It became a mandatory requirement two years ago.

I'm inclined to think it's a good thing, although I'm skeptical (as usual ). It's all in the execution, of course. It could be done very well, or it could be a useless, soft course with the blind leading the blind.

My 10th grade son is taking it right now and so far I'm not real impressed with what I'm seeing of the curriculum.

I think we all know that this stuff has to be covered over and over again to really stick, so I really don't know how effective it will be for most kids.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:53 AM   #13
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i agree that a Personal Finance short course should be included in the HS curriculum, preferably in freshman year. except for helping my mom balance the family budget notebook as a young teenage math whiz, i didn't see anything like this until i was in college and took Business 100. with so many Americans living in debt as the new norm, the learning (the no-debt method of finances) will not happen at home.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:44 AM   #14
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I think its a great idea. Provided the schools can bring our kids up to international standards in math, science, reading, etc, etc, first.
Yep. In fact, they probably can't understand the finanacial literacy until they have the math/reading skills.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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Maybe American should be required to pass a financial-literacy quiz every time they renew their driver's licenses or file a tax return or register to vote. Or maybe it could be a prerequisite for getting a mortgage, and anyone with a failing grade would have to endure a personal visit from Suze Orman.

Of course within a decade the roads would be clogged with unlicensed tax criminals who don't vote and don't want to own their homes...
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:34 AM   #16
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I agree with many of the above comments regarding teaching personal finance in schools. In an ideal world this should be taught in the home by the parents. Well its not an ideal world and many parents are incompetent financially and cannot adequately manage their own affairs. We go back to that instant gratification thing about having it all now and not having to earn it.

I would go one step further in making personal finance a mandatory course taught to high school freshmen. It should be combined with a half year of economics 101 teaching basic econ supply and demand, the role of the Fed etc.

Just my $.02 but due to the inflation in the pipeline caused by huge budget overruns and the inevitable monetizing of the debt this will change shortly to $.03.

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Old 09-24-2008, 11:43 AM   #17
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Boy Scouts has a "personal management" merit badge. I was a counselor for it for a few years. It's reasonably comprehensive but by no means perfect. The biggest problem I saw was that the way the BSA runs these days is that boys are qualifying for their Eagle at about age 14 or 15. To really understand what's required in the merit badge, I think a boy (or girl) would do better at 17 or older.

It was interesting that when I wouldn't pass a boy for not meeting a certain requirement how parents would argue with me that they don't do this so why should it be required. I can't remember the movie but "fat, dumb and stupid is no way to live your life" flashed through my mind.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:48 AM   #18
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For what its worth, I dont think a high school class would really be that beneficial. After all, at 16-17 years of age we're all invulnerable, smarter than everyone else, and we're all going to go on to make millions of dollars off the dumb old people.

Its something that needs to be taught in the home by the parents and be part of the childs upbringing. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, we're sorely lacking in good teachers.

We're not helped by our icons and role models either. The sign of success is in-your-face overconsumption. I just saw the first few seconds of a commercial last night which started off "We're a nation of consumers!!! And theres nothing wrong with that!!!".



It seems that if you get a discover card and then accept that your overconsumption isnt really that bad, and take a few seconds to think about financial responsibility...all will be well.

:
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:31 PM   #19
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It seems that if you get a discover card and then accept that your overconsumption isnt really that bad, and take a few seconds to think about financial responsibility...all will be well.
"Consume responsibly... and never while driving."

Are we still talking about beer?
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:52 PM   #20
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"Consume responsibly... and never while driving."

Are we still talking about beer?
I think it's bacon but we could consume both.
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