Did you know that Utah was the first state in the nation to make financial literacy a course requirement for graduating high school? It’s true! And it seems to be helping.
A study by the Utah State Auditor’s office conducted a financial literacy survey to compare Utah high school graduates who had taken the general financial literacy (GFL) course with their peers who didn’t and their peers in surrounding states.
“The survey results indicate that Utah public high school graduates who took one of the GFL courses for graduation exhibited higher average scores on both the knowledge and behavior questions,” the report says. “There is a correlation between Utah’s GFL course participation and improved personal financial knowledge and behavior for the past decade of graduates.”
This is a positive result, but it doesn’t mean parents are off the hook. Building a strong financial foundation starts at home! So talk to your kids about money, help them practice money management and set a good example. You will be setting them up for financial success, and the financial literacy high school course will be a nice bonus.
1. Make money an ongoing conversation
Talking about money doesn’t need to be awkward. Start small and build up to an ongoing conversation that your kids come to expect.
“Talking about money can’t be relegated to a one-time conversation,” said Lynne Somerman, money coach and founder of The Wiser Miser. “It needs to be part of the day-in, day-out conversation. As money topics come up and your kids are around, talk about them as openly as you feel comfortable.”
To put this into practice, involve your kids in everyday financial decisions. Planning your weekly menu? Have your kids look through grocery mailers to see what ingredients are on sale and then build the menu around that. Or tell them how much is budgeted for summer bathing suits and let them choose a couple of cheaper suits or one more expensive one.
2. Help kids earn and save for themselves
When we manage all the money for our kids’ school supplies and fun items, it becomes difficult for them to learn the value of a dollar. Help younger kids earn money in exchange for chores before they go to the toy store to buy a birthday present for their friend. Work with teenagers to find an after-school or summer job to pay for a day trip they want to take during your upcoming family vacation. It may be …….