By Leslie Walker
Millennials are constantly badgered for their reckless spending ways and told that they have no sense when it comes to managing money. But is it right to criticize them when we’ve done nothing to prepare them for the financial aspects of adulthood?
A major contribution to this financial illiteracy is the lack of education in high school. High school is a pivotal time for mapping out how a person will succeed in their future years and much of the knowledge they are told to retain in their common core classes will rarely be used in their everyday lives. In 2008, a report showed that in a financial literacy exam, the average American teen scored a 48.3%, even when the passing score was lowered to 60%. (Lewis Mandell from The Financial Literacy of Young American Adults). This is why a financial literacy class would be helpful in their high school years. The information they’d learn would prepare them for things like college debt, credit scams, and taxes, among many more. The subject would cover a multitude of lessons and could “lend itself well to its own course”, as stated by Mr. Walker, a math teacher at Walter Payton College Prep.
When geared with this knowledge, there’d be a lower chance of young adults falling into financial crisis. A fellow Payton senior stated: “Students armed with knowledge will be in a position to lead significantly better lives, enjoying less stress due to having good financial stability and a more enjoyable life due to being able to retire earlier than average.” This is how the economy would benefit. When these young adults are equipped with the proper financial knowledge, they’d be more likely to make better financial decisions which in turn would cause them to owe less money. The average American household has $137,063 in debt while only making an annual income of $59,039. (Leo Sun from USA Today) The class would lower debt by educating students and cause a financial boost in the economy. By teaching future generations a vital topic like this, we’d start a cycle of better financial decisions and helping the economy and its people all in the process.