Report: Oklahoma high schools earn a C grade in teaching personal finance
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) —
According to a new report, Oklahoma high schools aren't making the grade when it comes to teaching personal finance. The Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy gave our state a C grade, and Oklahoma isn’t alone in this problem.
The study shows our nation has a long way to go before becoming financially literate. Oklahoma is one of 27 states that got a grade of a C, D or F.
There is no required course on personal finance for Oklahoma students, but students do need to demonstrate proficiency in 14 areas of personal finance. It’s up to each school district to determine when and how those concepts will be taught, sometime between 7th and 12th grade.
If parents aren’t confident their kids are tackling this subject in school, it’s a good idea to start talking to your teens about the basics.
FOX 25 News turned to an investment advisor for tips on making sure teenagers graduate high school with the skills to navigate the world of work, military service or college.
“The first thing you want to talk about is your budget,” said Mark Rose with Retirement Solutions. “When they get the first job, use a budget worksheet to find out how much they’re going to be getting and how much they’re spending.”
Rose says a budget is the backbone of your financial plan. Have your teen fill out a budget worksheet with their income and estimated expenses, and make sure they understand you can’t spend more than what you have coming in.
“Now we have young people that are falling into the trap of getting crushed by their own debt, because of their own choices, but it might be because they didn’t understand fully those important financial topics,” said Rose.
He also recommends opening a checking or savings account for your teen, so they can start saving.
- Get kids in the habit of putting away 10 to 20 percent of their paycheck or allowance to create good financial habits
- Encourage them to also set aside some money to give away, whether it’s for gifts for family and friends or donations to a local charity
- Cover the basics, like writing a check, depositing a check, and the concept of interest on credit cards and loans
Learning about financial responsibility now will set teens up for success later in life, when they have full-time jobs and a stack of bills to pay.