“Will there ever be a day when you wake up where you don’t have to think about money, how to make it, how to spend it, how to save it…” This is the opening statement from Next Gen Personal Finance’s recently released film entitled, The Most Important Class You Never Had. And it’s true, everyday we make choices based on our understanding of how to manage our money. However, too many youth are leaving high school unprepared to deal with the challenges ahead; simply put, they lack the knowledge to understand how the choices they make today will impact their financial futures tomorrow.
About “The Most Important Class You’ve Never Had”
According to Next Gen Personal Finance, only 1 in 6 students are required to take a standalone personal finance course and this number increases to 1 in 26 in low-income schools. They are leading the charge to ensure all students have access to personal finance education by 2030. In the film, you will meet teachers and students from across the country who share why they think personal finance education is important and how it’s transforming not only their lives but those in their community.
I personally found the stories of the students in Winooski, Vermont very powerful. The impact of the personal-finance class extended way beyond the classroom. Students have been sharing what they learned with their families and helping their parents make better financial decisions. The personal finance class required by their school is giving back to the community over and over again.
I also enjoyed learning more about how different communities are implementing and using the personal finance curriculum in their schools. In Mr. Montgomery’s class in City As School in New York City, New York, he is using financial literacy to prepare and inspire future entrepreneurs. It’s not surprising that according to a 2018 survey done by TRowe Price that 88% of young adults are using the information they learned in their personal finance course.
Looking back at my own education, I remember the sewing class I was required to take and the ugly blue and green duffle bag I took home at the end of the course. I have never touched a sewing machine again. But, I could have really used a personal finance education course. Like so many adults, I wish I had the opportunity to learn about money at an earlier age.
Please take the time to watch the film and share your own stories with me at [email protected] We welcome the chance to share more stories on why personal finance education matters and how we can work together to ensure our youth are prepared for the future.
About the Author
Tammy Hettinger serves as the CARE Executive Director. Her monthly series highlights several topics of financial education and news around CARE, such as the above volunteer profile. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, two kids, and family cat.