As Financial Education Month (April) draws near, I am reminded of why it’s important that the community of students, parents, financial educators, and financial institutions work together to promote basic personal finance.
Expectations Are Changed
Students today are constantly marketed to. I work with students and get to hear what they think their lives will be like in five years, in ten years, etc. They have expectations that are, many times, out of line with reality. Students want to live in beautiful homes that they own, drive fast, shiny cars, and wear fashionable clothes. They also expect to make top dollar right out of college. Part of our job as community members is to help students understand how much things cost and what it will take to purchase these things smartly.
The Middle Class?
Most parents strive to have the next generation be more financially stable than the last generation. To make that happen we have to make sure that students are confident that they can navigate personal finance. It’s very common to hear students say that they are concerned about taking out a car loan, mortgage, etc. because they don’t want to be “scammed”. Students have to understand the concepts of principle, interest rates, and length of time of the loan so they can make good choices.
Retirement Soon Cometh
Young people are concerned about social security, the job market and the lack of pensions. Students are generally interested in investing for retirement, but they aren’t sure how to begin. It’s common knowledge that investing early and often is they key to being stable during retirement, but students won’t invest if they are nervous. Our job is to help students understand how investing works, so they can make their own decisions about how to invest.
How we do help educate students about personal finance? We steer them towards programs, books, and workshops that are easy to understand and provide the knowledge they need. We use teachable moments to have discussions with them about personal finance. We encourage them to ask questions and use their critical thinking skills to make decisions. If we all work together, we’ll all reap the benefits.
Shay Olivarria is the most dynamic financial education speaker working today. She speaks at high schools, colleges, and companies across the country. She has written three books on personal finance, including Amazon Best Seller “Money Matters: The Get It Done in 1 Minute Workbook”. Shay has been quoted on Bankrate.com, FoxBusiness.com, and The Credit Union Times, among others. To schedule Shay to speak at your event or to download her new eBook, visit www.BiggerThanYourBlock.com.
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