Schools urged to offer finance lessons

Communities want kids to leave school more money-wise 

At the end of every school year, the public pushes for new classes to be added to the curriculum. This year, families across the country are calling for lessons in personal finance. Over the summer, school boards will null over how to prepare graduates with money-spending savvy.


What do high school grads need to know about money?

Just a few lessons people wish their young adults would learn include knowing fair prices for big items

like cars or homes . . . along with the total cost of loans taken out to buy them. In an informal social media survey, here’s what a few respondents think kids need to know:

“The value of saving for cloudy days,” says Gene Michaels, who manages programs for people who are homeless in Santa Barbara, CA.

Saving for emergencies is easier than most people think, according to Wisconsin resident Judy Kadlec Thiedek. “When your car loan is paid off, put the monthly amount you paid into savings,” she says.

“Don’t spend more than you make,” cautions Tom White, retired government relations specialist. White echoes many other adults who responded to the survey. Californian Irma Baker adds, “Think before you buy. Ask yourself: ‘Is this really necessary?’ Have a budget.”

Michael McDonald, author of Extinction Shrugged, said it best: “The absence of debt equals wealth and freedom.” Too many young people have no idea that saving money, not earning it, is the key to wealth. Many celebrities who make millions spend it all and are left penniless.

Many never know the luxury of being debt-free with money in the bank for emergencies. The       Covid pandemic opened eyes to that reality. Now schools are asked to teach students money sense

A few financial lessons families wished their children knew:

  • How interest on money borrowed, especially on credit cards, adds up to astronomical charges.
  • Unless credit card bills are paid off each month, interest rates as high as 25 percent can be added.
  • Be aware of what reasonable interest rates should be for big ticket items like cars or homes.
  • Compare prices before buying anything. Some ‘deals’ aren’t real.Know prices. Wait for sales.
  • Don’t let sales people pressure you into buying anything, especially things you don’t really need.
  • Limit student loans to only basic education costs that are absolutely necessary for your future.
  • Over-pay loans by as much as you can. Even small over-payments can save big money in interest.
  • Set up a budget to pay monthly bills on time, spend extra money wisely . . . and save some.
  • Keep track of every cent you spend. A café coke or a coffee every day can be costly.
  • Have enough financial savvy to start investing your money when you’re young.

 Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future provided by Advancd Asset Management LLC                          

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Ronald Van Surksum, CFP               

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Advanced Asset Management
4555 Wilson Ave SW, Suite 2
Grandville, MI 49418

Phone: (616) 531-5220