Do you think students should take a Personal Finance class in high school?

United States
September 9, 2008 9:07pm CST
I've been thinking a lot lately about the subjects I learned in high school here in the US and how they relate to my life. One major subject that I think is missing from schools a Personal Finance course. Yes, we take mathematics but I think everyone could benefit from taking a Personal Finance course that just explains the basics of budgeting, how credit works, and basic investment options. I am just looking at where I am now as a 23 year old and thinking "wow, if I knew that sooner I would have done things differently!" What do you think? Are there any other courses you think students should take in high school?
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5 responses
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
10 Sep 08
Well, when I was in high school - not that long ago as I am 29 - we sort of hand a personal finance class. We were taught how to budget, use a check book - and balance it - how to read bank statement, a smidge about investments - 10+ years ago it wasn't as hot as it is now - how to calculate interest, etc. It was all build into our math classes. I know we did some work in grammar school and a lot more in high school. To me, this is something that should start at home. I remember my Dad sitting at home writing out all the bills and explaining to my brother and I what he was doing. Explaining what bills he was paying, how he was balancing his book, etc. I didn't grow up poor, but we didn't get everything we wanted either. For example, the house my parent bought in the early seventies did not have cable hookups. My parents were older than most, so they owned a home before most of my friends parents were even married. My friends had cable - their houses were either built later or it was added - and my parents refused. That money probably paid for one of our yearly vacations. I didn't even realize how well off we were until I went to college and couldn't get any financial aid LOL I think kids should learn the following: * How to write a resume * How to act while at a job interview * How to apply for college and financial aid even if they are not going * How to build a good credit score * The best way to buy a car, house, etc * How interest is charged and how to calculate it Out of curiosity, did you go to public school? My husband and I have conversations like this one all the time. The majority of time, the difference is that I went to a college prep school and he didn't. Last night he was amazed I knew about the 3rd Crusade, apparently he didn't get a World History class....
• United States
10 Sep 08
All those bulleted points are taught in the class I mention in the post below this one.
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@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
10 Sep 08
When I went to school we were taught all that in English classes Junior year (senior year we had a College level Lit class). But most schools do not have it built into the curriculum at all or don't bother teaching it to the kids that aren't going to college.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Sep 08
I do believe that a class such as Personal Finance would be beneficial to high school students. Especially if taught in the senior year. And not for just a one or two weeks period. It should be for at least half of the school year. That way, more people would have knowledge of handling their money. When I was in high school, we had only about 2 weeks of this kind of stuff and that was not enough. My parents did not teach me anything about how to save money, how to finance anything, how to do a budget, how to reconcile a checking account, to be sure to have insurance on a vehicle, all that kind of stuff. I wish they had done that.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Sep 08
I have to agree that is a great idea! I know it would have been nice having a class like that in high school; thankfully I was pretty level headed and didn't get myself into too much trouble; got financial aid and grants for undergrad in college and am just now taking loans for my Master's program. I think it would highly beneficial; I know some teachers went over some of that stuff when they were teaching Home Economics or Economy in general, but even a counseling class like that would have been better. It would have been great to learn about credit cards, credit in general, loans, etc, at that young of an age. There are many people, some I work with or know personally, that could have, or still could, do with a class like that. My local adult school offers one, but I didn't feel as though I needed it anymore. But high school would have been a great place to teach it to us.
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• United States
10 Sep 08
This class is available and actually required for graduation at my former high school. It certainly did help and it was one of the few classes that I saw as important.
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• United States
10 Sep 08
What a great idea! I was lucky to have a dad that was an accountant and taught me the importance of budgeting, credit, etc. I think that would be a great elective - just how to balance your account, budgeting, importance of credit scores, etc. That certainly would be something anyone could use.
1 person likes this