It is impossible to be a financial journalist, expert, etc., without making the connection that many of the financial challenges we face as adults are the result of the lack of education we got in our formative years about the financial, emotional, and psychological aspects of money.
Financial expert, educator, and author Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche has seen this firsthand in her work, and has joined forces with New Jersey Assemblywoman Angela McKnight (D-Hudson) to introduce legislation to change this, introducing “The Budgetnista Law,” a financial literacy bill that would require New Jersey school districts to teach personal finance to students in grades K–8.
“One of the most important lessons a person can learn is how to manage their money. Many young people enter into adulthood knowing little about finances, and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,” said Assemblywoman McKnight.
“Financial education should be a key component in our curriculums,” says Aliche. “Knowing how to manage your money is essential in living a productive life. If students are taught basic financial tenets while young, we can increase their ability to successfully navigate adulthood,” she adds.
Once approved, the bill would take effect immediately and be applicable to the first full school year following enactment. The bill, which is currently under review by the New Jersey Assembly Education Committee, would require age appropriate curricula that meets State Board requirements that teaches students budgeting, savings, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and other issues pertaining to personal financial responsibility.
“Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path,” says Assemblywoman McKnight.
According to the Council for Economic Education:
- Just 20 states require students to take an economics course
- Just 17 states require high school students to take a course on personal finance
- 0 states require standardized testing of economic concepts
While states have been slow to provide America’s students with education in money management, the Obama administration has taken steps to fill the void. The President’s Council on Financial Capability and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have created an online tool called Money As You Grow, which provides parents and educators with resources to streamlined tools to teach children how to manage money.