Money Mindset


Chichi Bangandozou, Contributor

Imagine you are in your early 40s or 50s and are completely unbothered by what would happen if you were missing a couple of thousand dollars. What if your bank account had well over 7 figures and was increasing in value every day, and so were your assets and your investments. Not to mention you would never need to work another day for the rest of your life. How great would that be? Unfortunately, that is not as easy as it seems. Most of the time people don’t know how to build capital to pay off their debt, or establish a source of income to generate money as they sleep. Why is that, you may ask? It is because we were never taught the importance of money in the education system. Many people believe that knowing how to save and use your money should be obvious, or it should be taught at home. Others argue that the education system is already unfunded so adding financial courses may be challenging. Although those are valid points, the sad truth is that the benefits of financial literacy taught in school significantly outweigh the issues previously stated. I understand that I am not the first person to bring up the importance of financial education. The education system is supposed to set up individuals for their adult life and profession but avoids teaching the importance of money to students. Money knowledge is the most important piece of knowledge that an individual can obtain. The world revolves around money so why doesn’t the education system teach us about it.

Although, there have been many believe people financial education should be taught by their parents; and school is not a good place to learn about money, but in reality, it is the perfect place for the topic of financial literacy to be brought up. Many parents don’t feel comfortable about teaching their kids something that they were never taught; other parents simply do not have a complete understanding of financial literacy Unfortunately, when our parents were younger, they didn’t have the opportunity to be taught financial education in school. If all parents were taught how to manage finances and balance checkbooks at a young age, in their educational careers, then the economy would be different. The sad truth is that parents were never taught financial skills in school. Parents and other individuals, no matter what if they go to college or not; everyone of them will pay taxes, and eventually, live somewhere, so mortgage or rent is a necessity to know. Lastly, they all will have some form of money in their hands. With no financial education, some sort of a money crisis is more likely to occur. Knowing how to scan and prevent money problems should be known to all individuals. Many say that financial education should be taught at home but that begs the question of who would teach it. 

School is an environment where students should feel comfortable to learn and express themselves in a smaller setting so they could be able to do it in the real world. The real world is completely revolved around money. Although, schools educate youth on carriculars such as math and history.  I belive school should be a place that educates the youth about the adult world as well. We always hear our middle school teachers say something about high school being different and such a great experience. We also hear our high school teachers say the same thing about college and college professors say the same thing about the real world. The lack of urgency to teach financial skills in school has been a problem for generations. If individuals aren’t learning financial education in a school, where else would they learn it? Understandably, not everyone in the world picks the same major or wants to study the same thing. However, a financial literacy class would have a positive impact on everyone. With proper budgeting and learning how to prevent the severity of financial mistakes will go a long way. At school kids are taught basics like speaking up, being nice, and making good decisions; knowing how to use money is a basic piece of knowledge as well, so shouldn’t those good money habits be taught in school as well? 

Having a good financial education helps keep you in a good financial position but more importantly, leads to a healthier overall life. Financial education taught in school can allow easier access for individuals to live that healthier life. It is not a surprise that money brings a lot of stress especially if you are having money problems. Stress is often bad for your physical and mental health. With a financial education, though, you may encounter some bumps across your financial journey; due to your financial literacy, you will have an idea or at least understand what has to be done to get you in a better situation. A person without financial education wouldn’t know where to start. Having a good financial education opens a lot of doors and better opportunities for people. For example, the right form of financial education makes starting your own business and handling the finances much easier. Being financially educated not only helps business wise but also allows access to better quality food. It is no surprise that cheap food tends to be unhealthy, even if it taste good, they poorly contribute to your health. As opposed to healthy food, that are generally expensive. Not many know and understand but the quality of food that we eat is very important. With more money, it makes it much easier to afford healthy food for you and your family. Healthy money habits lead to an even healthier life. Knowing how to save money and knowing the basic rules of money, in the end, will guarantee more money in your pocket. Money education can bring happiness and greatly contribute to a healthier lifestyle in many ways, and that starts with teaching it at school. 

Money and finances are the core of an adult’s life so learning about debt and taxes should be the core of your educational career. As you know, the biggest financial problem that the majority of the people in the United States go through is debt. There are over trillions of dollars owed to the United States Government’s worth of debt. If Americans were taught how to stray away from debt in middle school and high school, I think that those numbers would be significantly different today. Taxes are something that everyone has to pay to the government. Every year when you get those taxes back; and those are called tax returns. Although most people know that, some people don’t know. Some people don’t even know how to file their taxes. With one mess up, it could cause them big problems in the future. Nowadays there are even people who forget to file their taxes because there is no sense of urgency with it. 

If financial responsibility was taught then everyone would know how to file for their taxes like it’s a no-brainer. People would also understand what they need to do to stay out of debt. Financial education is something that the majority of the world puts aside till they are much older. Waiting could often lead to debt and many other financial problems. If school is supposed to be teaching and setting us up for the real world then why isn’t the education system teaching us about money and how it works? The youth are the future so it’s most important for us to be educated about what the adult world brings, and financial education is the keystone of that world. If we continue to dismiss the concept of financial literacy to the youth, our economy can face a big downfall as we the youth are the future.