Monday February 15, 2010 | Youth & Economic Literacy

February 12, 2010 at 11:42 am | Posted in Coming Up | 7 Comments

We’ll discuss the importance of teaching economic literacy to K-12 students across the state. We’ll talk with people who are working to combat the lack of economic and financial knowledge in youth, especially in light of the current economic crisis, by teaching kids practical information about finance and economics. We’ll hear about some of the programs that organizations throughout the state are putting forth to achieve the goal of more economic knowledge for kids and hear about some of the early results of the programs.
Bruce Nofsinger
– Principal, Topics Education and Leader, Topics Financial
Derwin Dubose – Director of Financial Literacy, NC Treasurers Office
Sandy Wheat – Exec. Director, NC Council on Economic Education and President, NC JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy for Youth

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  1. Two Comments:

    1. Students need to be taught the PSYCHOLOGY of money, not just the getting and spending. Money habits also are the result of psychological needs.

    2. One problem with financial literacy is that the responsibility is all on the consumer. What about the problem of financial services’ not giving people information in plain language.

  2. When it comes to empowering the consumer, the banks, in most cases, are insistent on selling customers on these automatic payment programs with basic checking accounts. This does not empower anyone but the bank.

    Another observation I’ve had over the years is more and more businesses like utilities and insurance companies try to really push the auto-debit monthly payment, which again does not necessarily empower the consumer. Have we forgotten to remember all of our monthly expenses and simply write a check for them when it’s due?

    Matt Grunow

  3. Writing from Mooresville:

    On financial literacy for kids, there are several good books, but since the parents don’t have the right education in the first place these are no big sellers.

    Separately, my duaghter is 11 and truly got the concept of value for money on a recent Disney trip. She found a big bouncy ball with a cost of $310 – about twenty minutes after we left the shop (without the ball), she noted that she could buy a “whole trampoline” for about the same cost. Even weeks later she retells the story and has now related that same value for cost to other items.

  4. Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey. Many schools across the country already use his teaching materials.

    As a mother who volunteered in the school, I can tell you that the economic education taught in my children’s elementary school consisted of how terrible we (the US) treats people because we don’t subsidize irresponsible behavior at the amount they would like. Everyone’s “wants” are not being fulfilled by government, so we need to pay more taxes. There was little teaching concerning the importance of behaving responsibly so that you can support yourself, your family, and not become a burden to society.

  5. Great discussion. I was having a similar discussion with colleagues last week. As a society, we teach are children about drugs, sex, driving, etc… but nothing about basic money management. I would that poor financial decisions are equally as dangerous.

    High School Juniors should be taught what a credit score is, how a credit score is built, how much a purchase actually costs when it is financed, and how a mortgate\car note\credit card actually work and how to read the contracts. Teach them that the money they save between ages 20 and 35 is going to be more important than the money they save from 35 to 65 because of how interest works. When these students get to college, they are going to be bombarded with credit card applications and consumer culture at the bookstore and at college events. They must know that poor decisions can have lifelong negative consequences.

  6. Thank you all for taking my call this morning. I wanted to include the website address to my book for your listeners.

    Best wishes,

    Mike Duralia
    Author, The Real Life 101 Handbook

  7. Your guests obviously need a refresher of what actual money empowerment is.

    First, when you set up bills from your checking account to be “automatically debited” on a certain date, the consumer is NOT in control of their finances, the bank is. When businesses insist on setting up automatic drafts or debits, then you are not in control of your finances! How can these three talk about financial education but say that giving control over to a computer database is responsible?

    If you pay on line it’s true you do save paper by not writing a check. What I was suggesting is people should pay on line when they’re payment is due and not relying on a computer to do it for them. It may be convenient but it’s not by any means promoting empowerment. I do pay several of my bills on line but I pay them when they’re due without reminder or needing a computer to do it for me. I AM EMPOWERED AND IN CONTROL. People need to learn how to control their finances first.

    Matt G.

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