Should basic home finance be a requirement in school?

fuffle master

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So, our curriculum committee for my school district was this evening. I have a bit of a pet peeve about how many of our school’s graduates can create a computer program, write a sonnet, or speak three languages, but can’t simply balance a check book, have no idea the concept or property tax, or really understand how loans and credit affect their monthly income and buying power.

I am asking here as well. Should a basic home economic/finance class be mandatory education for all graduating HS students? I don’t know what college applications would think of a basic class such as this on their application would mean. You know everyone has to have 15 AP or IB classes now to be competitive. But, I do think this type of class would be much more helpful to a student over taking gym or a required art class. For my art students they can take both and drop a math. ;)
 

ArmyGolf

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100% Yes. Historically this was something parents taught their children but we've reached a point where too many parents don't understand this stuff either.

It still blows my mind that I can hire a guy with a History major who has no idea what a mortgage actually is or how it works.
 

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At the very least it should be an elective starting in high school.
 

dhartmann34

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Of course it should be and is in a lot of places. But if the kids don't take an interest... It won't matter anyway unfortunately. A majority of kids just brush it off and don't take the valuable lessons and advice sadly.

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cbaker2882

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So, our curriculum committee for my school district was this evening. I have a bit of a pet peeve about how many of our school’s graduates can create a computer program, write a sonnet, or speak three languages, but can’t simply balance a check book, have no idea the concept or property tax, or really understand how loans and credit affect their monthly income and buying power.

I am asking here as well. Should a basic home economic/finance class be mandatory education for all graduating HS students? I don’t know what college applications would think of a basic class such as this on their application would mean. You know everyone has to have 15 AP or IB classes now to be competitive. But, I do think this type of class would be much more helpful to a student over taking gym or a required art class. For my art students they can take both and drop a math. ;)
Yes, yes, and more yes. Then throw some yes on top.

there is not a single facet or profession in life that you wouldn’t benefit from a life prep course like this.

However I doubt anything ever goes into practice. Too much money to be made on bad decisions. At least not nationwide or anything
 

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Absolutely yes.
 

Stemmy66

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Should absolutely be part of every high school curriculum. I literally have college graduates on my work team coming to me to explain what RSUs are, (all employees get RSUs) the employee stock purchase plan, tax implications, etc.... maybe its because I'm old or maybe because these sorts of classes were required when I was in high school...... circa 1980s
 

WMac19

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Absolutely. I've drilled the basics and more into my kids' heads since they were young. They'll tell me now (24 and 22, respectively) how their friends are clueless to the pitfalls of even credit cards, for example.

And they say talk of building a good credit rating is like a foreign language to too many of them.
 

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I think regardless of where you live in the world, some sort of finance lesson should be included once you reach a certain age at school
 

Jman

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Yes. But the battle is where to fit it. I’m fighting the same thing now.

Ive combined that battle with another of mine here in my state, that Civics/Gov is a freshman class.

So what I’ve been fighting my councelors for the past few years is to make FR year history 1/2 OK Hist (required by law here) and 1/2 Geog (because they have NO clue where anything is) and then SR year 1/2 Gov/Civics and 1/2 Personal Finance.
 

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Absolutely it should.
 

mpeterson

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Yes. But the battle is where to fit it. I’m fighting the same thing now.

Ive combined that battle with another of mine here in my state, that Civics/Gov is a freshman class.

So what I’ve been fighting my councelors for the past few years is to make FR year history 1/2 OK Hist (required by law here) and 1/2 Geog (because they have NO clue where anything is) and then SR year 1/2 Gov/Civics and 1/2 Personal Finance.
That’s a really good idea, because I think it’s really tough to discuss civics and government without the context of how they were set up. If that’s covered in history class, I would imagine civics is easier to teach.

We did personal finance stuff in HS, here and there over the course of the 4 years. Which I guess makes sense, you don’t need an entire semester.
 

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You really don't even have to couch it as personal finance. Teach a business class. Teach them some basics about accounting, time value of money, and economics. There is no reason kids should graduate high school and not understand interest, supply and demand, and how to count and keep track of their money.

@Jman the government thing drives me crazy too. I teach my kids as much as possible, but they pick up a ton of nonsense from social media and then need to be explained the context of things and why they are the way they are. The impeachment trial has been a really good opportunity to explain the ins and outs of the federal government. Kids know it is going on and they know about Donald Trump so if you know a lot enough to give a knowledgeable answer about why impeachment exists, how it works, and how the process is decided you can definitely teach your kids some valuable information about the roles of the President, the Congress, and the Senate as defined by the Constitution.
 

Jman

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That’s a really good idea, because I think it’s really tough to discuss civics and government without the context of how they were set up. If that’s covered in history class, I would imagine civics is easier to teach.

We did personal finance stuff in HS, here and there over the course of the 4 years. Which I guess makes sense, you don’t need an entire semester.
Bigger is freshman have literally ZERO cares about how government works. They’ll never be that old in their minds....then they become seniors and are staring at the real world. Plus, pushing it back might help some of them not just do whatever celebs and social media people say...that really is a very real thing today.

Def wouldn’t need a full semester, but if you had it you could get all kinds of things done/taught.
 

gkeller813

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Considering the state of student loan debt and credit card debt, I would say we are in need of a class covering the basics of personal finance. These kids do not understand the ramifications of taking out loans, the affects of interest rates, and how these decisions early in their adult life can affect the rest of their lives. I think if we better educate kids on the front end, we can help alleviate the issues on the back end, and reduce the amount of debt kids have coming out of college. Now there are other issues at hand, but when you are about to take on $100k in debt, but have no idea about the financials of your "deals", then you are bound to lose.
 

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No doubt it should be. My daughter just went off to college 3 months ago and I am just hoping the financial lessons I taught her throughout her life serve her well while she is still getting used to that responsibility.
 

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Yes. The ability to develop and manage a budget is a fundamental skill needed by everyone.
 

mikeg_74

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Absolutely it should. My girls are 8 & 10 right now and we are showing them how the monthly budget works. They need to understand that when Mom or Dad says no, it's not because we are mean, but because we have household priorities that need to be taken care of first.

We've also started to show them how simple interest works on a loan and how that affects the total balance.

I think our kids right now are being taught a lot of cool things to help them with all the emerging technology and changing global environments, but we do them a disservice not explaining personal finance and how to manage money.
 

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I really could see a home economics and civics class be a junior level class. Close enough to graduation that maybe they retain it.

That said I do not think a home budget class should replace any math class or civics class replace history/geography. To many kids that are college bound are not ready academically for college and while the life skills will hopefully improve them for it, giving an "art" student that thought of getting out of a math class or the flip side of "math" student getting out of a history class.
 

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Yes. But the battle is where to fit it. I’m fighting the same thing now.

Ive combined that battle with another of mine here in my state, that Civics/Gov is a freshman class.

So what I’ve been fighting my councelors for the past few years is to make FR year history 1/2 OK Hist (required by law here) and 1/2 Geog (because they have NO clue where anything is) and then SR year 1/2 Gov/Civics and 1/2 Personal Finance.
You mean they don't know where Ukraine, Syria or Iran is?

Seems to me we had like a four week session in H.S. that taught budgeting.
Thing was, the gave us less money than what our bills were so we had to make choices on what we were going to pay and what we had to cut back.
We actually broke out Boy/Girl as Husband/Wife.
It taught a great lesson to us.
 

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It should be included no matter where you are in the world. I come from a generation where I learnt that from my parents and in some part the military helped.
In my previous company our Engineering Manager wanted to run a course for our young Engineers and Technicians to teach them financial responsibility. He claimed, we employed them and gave them a decent salary, the banks knew the income would go in every month, and offer them loans and credit cards. Next thing they know they have more outgoings than incomings and were in a world of hurt.
 

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For sure.

Not only are there questionable classes in HS but there are some REALLY questionable classes required in college. There were at least 2-3 I had to take in college that were completely ignorant and so ignorant I really don't even remember what they were about and I did the absolute bare minimum to pass. I literally sat there and thought "I really have to take this BS?" and the "professor" if you can call her that thought it was the most important class ever. It was really annoying.
 

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Absolutely it should be no questions asked. It should be mandatory.
 

Jman

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I really could see a home economics and civics class be a junior level class. Close enough to graduation that maybe they retain it.

That said I do not think a home budget class should replace any math class or civics class replace history/geography. To many kids that are college bound are not ready academically for college and while the life skills will hopefully improve them for it, giving an "art" student that thought of getting out of a math class or the flip side of "math" student getting out of a history class.
Don't go into a school and call it home economics anymore. The touchy-feely brigade has gotten them too, its now referred to as "family and consumer science".
 

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One of my biggest beefs with our school system. No real world training to prepare them for real life and money. But hey, at least they’ll be all set for diversity and inclusion.
 

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