Teaching New Generations to Be Money Smart

Many people understand they should know something about managing finances but haven’t been given the tools to know how to change their behavior or practice healthy financial habits. Many states are trying to shape a more financially literate generation by teaching financial literacy courses in school. A majority of U.S. states have their own personal financial standards, require implementation of financial standards, or make a personal finance course a requirement for students to graduate.

For the last few weeks, many have waited in anticipation for the go-ahead to raise the debt ceiling. Whether or not you agree with the $2.1 trillion increase, among many things, these numbers reflect the poor financial decisions and lack of financial guidance of many Americans. However, new programs being introduced in the beginning of the 2011-12 school year show policy makers, educators, and corporations want to break the debt cycle and are ready to put up a fight with an army of financially savvy students.

At the beginning of the school year, not only are more states trying to pass state standards to teach students personal money management, but more tools are being released to get kids engaged in their finances out of the classroom as well. Just this week MoneyIsland, a new interactive game from Crescent State Bank, was released to teach children about personal finances at a young age. Kids get a passport and travel to exotic places while learning about finances in three main categories: saving and spending, earning and investing, and using credit wisely.

In the upcoming weeks, LifeBound will be releasing Dollars and Sense: How to Be Smart About Money aimed at high school students. The book follows the six national financial literacy standards as created by the Jump$tart Coalition: Financial Responsibility and Decision Making, Income and Careers, Planning and Money Management, Credit and Debt, Risk Management and Insurance, and Saving and Investing. We will also offer online assessments, tests, and supplements on our website.

What tools do you use with your students to increase financial literacy skills? What are you doing to raise awareness of financial literacy at home, in the community, or in the classroom?








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