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