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Improve the world: teach a young person the fundamentals of personal finance.
(Link via Instapundit.)
Posted by Craig on 05:07:00 AM in Economics
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I have long advocated that high schools teach a one semester course on life skills. You would be taught the difference between low interest debt and credit cards. You would be taught how to balance a checkbook. And taught about how almost every special offer is a scam of some sort.
Although I do believe it is sad that adults don't teach this to their children.
kyle N |
April 30, 2008 at 07:34 AM
Kyle, I have no reason to believe that: a) most schools are competent to teach such a course in a meaningful way (i.e. such that the students actually master the material), or: b: most of the students learn more than enough to pass the course (see a, above) or retain enough of it to be helpful.
We haven't had anything like 'bad times' since the 70s and they thus have no memory of needing to know anything about finances. I got a 14% 15-year mortgage in 1978 that took up 35% of my available income and was darned glad to get it. I learned a lot, much of it the hard way. They haven't (to date) *needed* (in their own minds) to learn.
I recently (within the past month) had a student come to my office with a financial problem. His auto lease was ending, and he owed an additional $3000, which he didn't have. Various dealers were offering him ungodly rollovers and he was lost. Over the next couple of days we walked, very slowly, through the possibilities and numbers. He ended up buying his lease car (he's way upside down) and will move back in with he parents for at least a year. He is paying them rent (about 1/2 what his apt rent is), and he doesn't know it, but his dad told me that if the student makes it work for a year the dad is going to put all the rent he's paid into the car loan.
We're both hoping he's learned a little.
April 30, 2008 at 12:49 PM
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