April 4, 2022 by Dymphna

Why aren’t they teaching this in schools?

I’ve been calling for this for years. Time for Australia to listen.

I’m certainly not a fan of Australia follow America’s lead on everything, but this is one trend I think we should get fully behind.

Financial literacy in schools.

To me it’s ridiculous that a kid can graduate knowing how to calculate the hypotenuse on a triangle a train travelling from Brisbane to Melbourne, but they don’t know that credit card debt is a killer, or about the power of compound interest.

Anyway, Florida is the latest state in America to get on board with this:

Florida is officially the largest state to mandate a financial literacy course for high school graduation.

On Tuesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed bill SB 1054 into law. The legislation was unanimously passed by both the state House of Representatives and Senate in early March.

“What the bill is doing with financial literacy is really providing a foundation for students that’s going to be applicable in their lives regardless of what path they take,” said DeSantis during a Tuesday press event. “This will provide a foundation for the students to learn the basics of money management, understanding debt, understanding how to balance a checkbook, understanding the fundamentals of investing.”

The new law will apply to students entering ninth grade in the 2023-2024 school year, and require that they take a half-credit course in personal finance before they graduate.

Florida is the latest in a growing trend of states adopting legislation that includes personal finance education for students.

“The world of money is changing so fast, if we don’t help our students keep up, the next generation is going to repeat cycles of a lack of financial literacy,” said Yanely Espinal, director of educational outreach at Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit.

Currently, there are 54 personal finance education bills pending in 26 states, according to Next Gen Personal Finance’s bill tracker. Now, 11 states, including Florida, require students to take a stand-alone personal finance course to graduate, which the nonprofit considers the gold standard of such education.

Bring it on.

So much of my working is helping people get out of the holes that conventional wisdom dug for them.

Like credit cards. If you’re not educating people about the way that credit cards work – about the way interest payments can snowball in such a way that it can be incredibly difficult, especially for a young person, to climb out from under – then you’re creating a knowledge vacuum.

And who fills that knowledge vacuum. Banks. Banks selling credit cards with cute animated mascots.

To me this is about resiliency. It’s about preparing our kids for the modern world, and opening their eyes to the traps that are out there.

So, board of education, get on board with this. And if you want me to get involved, let me know.

I’ll offer my services for free.