Every April since 2003, the United States has recognized and celebrated National Financial Literacy Month. It was called for by a joint resolution in congress and is one path to educating the citizens of our country about the importance and real necessity of developing a working knowledge in mastering the language, principles, and actions of finance.
But nowhere is it more important to begin that education than with our youth. High school financial literacy is more important than ever before. There are many levels of education and responsibilities that kids come in contact with that can be the inspiration and key to their developing a full understanding of the principles of financial education. I recently read a book that I think can really help both student and parent in that quest.
High School Money Hacks written by K. Michael Srinivasan and Kyle A. Davis ChFC is a well written and a simple to understand resource that provides the basic topics and full understanding of important financial information that everyone needs to know and learn. Being a precise 55 pages, the book covers all the topics that a young adult should master in order to be fully prepared to meet the financial challenges ahead.
Topics covered, with specific examples and explanations, are things like the basics of understanding loans and the impact of interest on the repayment of them, as an example. High schools students will be better prepared for the impact student loans have as part of their potential college experience, as well as auto or personal loans that may be facing them in their near term future. The book makes this topic clear in a very easy to process way.
The authors also explain subjects such as a discussion of college and its impact on your earning power as well as the way that the different types of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) can and do affect your life and ultimately your retirement. There is good information about growing your monies through planning and saving and so many things that are a mystery to most here are completely de-mystified. I know that sometimes the attempt to personally discuss subjects such as retirement with a young person can make their eyes roll back in their head, but seriously, this book will enable both the student and parent to relate to the material and spark conversations that just don’t always occur.
High School Money Hacks also addresses earning income, paying taxes, and budgeting. This trio of subjects should start your teens on the right track to building wealth instead of building debt.
I personally know about the frustrations of trying to educate my kids about so many of these issues and this book makes it easier to talk about these subjects in a way that many of the longer, more deeply detailed books aren’t able to do.
There is a particularly important section on credit: its calculation of ratings and scores, its usage, and its importance to know and understand. I believe it is critical to the success of young people beginning their financial life to keep credit in and under control.
Through the use of Excel and Google spreadsheets, students can actually get the hands-on experience of problem solving and theory. Practical use of it and the readings will make discussion with their parents really work.
I recommend this book as a basic resource to get your teen started in the practical game of educating themselves in an area that ultimately is the development of truly fundamental requirements in financial literacy.
In addition to the written materials, there are a series of YouTube videos that are useful in explaining further aspects of the importance of financial wellness that you will want to access.
I hope you’ll get a copy of this effective and useful way to get your high schoolers on the road to financial wellness now. You’ll be very happy you gave your teen this aide now, when his or her financial personality in still being shaped and impacted.
High School Money Hacks is available at SmashWords for $4.99.