Should Personal Finance Be Taught in High School?

personalfinancePhoto Credit

I was reading this article about personal finance classes in Florida.  In Orange and Seminole counties, economics teachers will be required to include a unit on personal finance combined w/ lessons about supply, demand, and elasticity.  While I don’t think that’s nearly enough time devoted to the subject, it’s at least a start.

When I was in high school, we didn’t have anything of the sort—I remember learning how to balance a checkbook in my middle school math class, but that was the extent of the personal finance lessons.  There were so many things that I had no concept about (hence my steady ascent up Ol’ Student Loan Debt Mountain).

If I could write a curriculum for a personal finance class, here are the topics I’d be sure to include:

  • Budgeting
  • Balancing your checkbook
  • Using credit cards/debit cards/cash
  • Paying your bills (utilities, car, rent/mortgage)
  • Saving for goals (college, car, house, vacations, wedding)
  • Loans (student loans, car loans, home mortgages)
  • Career planning
  • Retirement/investing
  • Income taxes

What about you, readers?  Do you think personal finance should be taught in high school?  What lessons should be included?


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