Personal Finance – Should It Be Taught In Schools?
Do you think personal finance should be taught in school?
Do you remember everything you learned in school? No? Neither do I and that’s okay. A few years out of school and most people are (hopefully) heading in a certain direction where a lot of the “skills” and lessons you were taught during that time don’t have any relevance to your current situation. Trigonometry, anyone?
And yet there are some very important life skills that I’m sure you would agree should be compulsory which are just not addressed in the school system. When you leave school you enter the “real world” (whether that be work, apprenticeship or higher education) and you are becoming an adult so it’s shocking really, that some of these key skills aren’t being taught.
For Example: how to manage personal finance.
In school we learn that getting a degree is the key to success, but are seldom taught how to manage finances such as filing taxes, credit card interest rates, and saving for the future. Unfortunately these are the lessons we learn the hard way; one in four student loan borrowers are either delinquent or in default.
Why aren’t schools laying the foundations for financial success by teaching young people the basics about money management before it really counts?
Well the quick answer to that is because there is no exam or school level qualification in this subject. Schools are competitive. It is all about getting the highest GCSE marks. “Personal finance” isn’t a GCSE subject, therefore it doesn’t do the school any favours to teach it. Sad but true.
However, exam or no exam, managing personal finances should still be taught. Or at least be an option or a course you can take. Surely it would make more sense to have these soon-to-be adults taught about personal finance? Or even if it was just an optional course in the last year of high school or during A-levels?
It is right after this period of time where people get their first taste of actually having to manage money and a lot of the time they are clueless, which as we have determined - is not their fault. I’m sure you might know a Uni Student who spent all of their loan in the students union (that bit would be somewhat their fault, I will admit).
Some people may argue it’s just a life experience you have to learn on your own. But then what if you said the same thing about learning to drive a car - which is another valuable life skill? You wouldn’t let your son or daughter loose in your car would you – because THAT would have disastrous consequences. Well so can a lack of personal financial know-how!
Do you agree? Tweet us @MACFinancial