Your Children Will Handle Money, The Way You Handle Money

Money Management In Public Schools?

I recently read an article that talked about how Cincinnati Public Schools plan to start teaching money management classes, in grades K-12, starting in 2014.  Now on the surface, this doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but I think that there is another way of looking at it.  Personally, I believe that while teaching kids about money is important, I think that it is more important to know who’s ideas about money management are being taught.

My objection isn’t that money management will be taught, it’s about what that will include.  If they are just talking about basics, then maybe it will be fine, but if they teach our children the same “you have to build credit” in order to have stuff idea, I am strongly opposed!  We all know that the Government is completely inefficient when it comes to managing money, so do we want our kids to learn those same ideas in the classroom? (Massive debt loads, wasteful spending, …you know the deal!)

Some of you may not know this, but I am not a big fan of the FICO credit system, since that system creates outrageous incentive to borrow and keep borrowing.  Something I remember being “indoctrinated” with was the fact that I HAD to build my credit in order to own a house or a car.  That is simply a lie, but that is what is spread around as truth.  If they are going to expand on this lie in the classroom I think that it could make things even worse for our children’s future.  Stick to the basics and I am okay.

What I Consider To Be Basics

  1. Importance of Savings
  2. Importance of Budgeting
  3. Becoming Informed Consumers
  4. Debt and Risk (The truth)
  5. Understanding Investments & Compound Interest
  6. Benefits of Giving

A curriculum I support: Foundations in Personal Finance

Stay away from teaching students how to obtain debt!  The curriculum must be based on educating the students on how things work, not what they should or shouldn’t do as far as borrowing or investing!  There are too many dangerous opinions out there already.  The basics would provide a place to start, and leave room to expand on those ideas as they learn and grow.

Children Become What They Learn At Home, Not At School

Now I am sure there are some exceptions to this, but for the most part I think it is true.  I believe it is our job as parents to be an example to our kids.  If we are out there borrowing money for everything we own, then the chances are at least greater that our kids will do the same.  Learn how to manage your own money properly so that you can teach your own children sound money principles.  Remember, you can teach them the right way, but if you are still doing it the wrong way, you are wasting your time!

PLEASE do not rely on a school system to do this for you.  This would be a huge mistake, and one that could lead your children to struggle with money the way you have.  One thing for sure is that I do not want my kids to even come close to struggling with money the way I have over the years.  I wouldn’t wish that on my enemies, or their kids for that matter!  Take the time to educate yourself about money, so that you can spread a message of hope to your children and future generations!

A Good Place To Start

Adults
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – $10 Sale (or get it from your local library)
Financial Peace University – This 13 Week DVD based course is essential!  (Lifetime Membership for your entire household)

Children
Young American Center For Financial Education – Great site with helpful tips and advice for our youth.
Junior’s Clubhouse – Loaded with interactive books, games and resources to make money management fun!
Financial Peace Jr – Money management system for ages 3-12! $10 sale

These links are provided to help you take control of your finances.  I do not get paid if you visit them OR buy anything.  I hope you find them useful!

About Brad Chaffee

3 Responses to “Your Children Will Handle Money, The Way You Handle Money”

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  1. I honestly think that the basics you listed ARE what the schools will be teaching. It would be nice if parents would teach their kids about money management, but the sad fact of the matter is that most do not. Most parents do not know enough about money management themselves to teach their children about it. I am completely supportive of the schools starting this program.

    Olivia @Independent Beginnings´s last blog post..Oops, Sorry for the Goof-Up

  2. Brad Chaffee says:

    I would hope so but was unable to find anything to confirm that. All I do know is that people today believe that they have to build their credit in order to have stuff, so it does make me wonder. The basics as I listed actually make sense but what makes sense isn’t always what is used. I would be willing to bet that there would be something in the curriculum that “pushed” the importance of “building” ones credit as a way of managing their money responsibly. I STRONGLY disagree with that!

    In fact, the only curriculum that I know of that is teaching REAL money management principles is the one Dave Ramsey has gotten into schools himself called Foundations in Personal Finance. I do agree with you, that because lots of parents are not educated themselves in money management then something IS needed in public schools, but I want to know who’s ideas will be considered in any curriculum. The same can be said about sex education and I am concerned with what some schools have deemed appropriate to teach our kids there too. There are some things I do not want the schools trying to teach my kids. What we need to focus on is adult education in personal finance so that they CAN teach their kids, which is exactly why I do what I do. I am not a big fan of the public school system, and do not think that the Government is the answer to any of our problems.

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