Managing money and finances isn’t taught in school, leading to overspending and lack of budgeting in our generation. Find reasons & way forward.
Money is one of the essential things that you’ll need in your entire life, and we can say it without any doubt. But don’t our schools realize it? Have you ever seen any school teaching students about budgeting and the way mortgages work? Probably no.
You wouldn’t have paid much attention to it previously, right? But if you’ll look around, you’ll see a clear gap of schooling in this domain, and the result is extreme financial distress that children have to face as soon as they are out of school. If you’ll probe it a bit deeper, you’ll find out the reasons associated with the lack of financial and money matter teaching in schools. We would say that schools are not the only ones to blame; there are multiple stakeholders that actually lead to such a situation. Would you like to explore the matter with us? Let’s start then.
What is exactly wrong?
It is easy to put the blame on everything in schools, but school really responsible? Who designs the curriculum? We all know the answer, and that is the government. So, why does the government not include it in the syllabus and bound the schools to teach it to the children?
The government should realize that it is not the 20th century anymore were giving 40 years to an organization meant a decent pension at retirement. Now the work settings have changed tremendously. People are working from home, freelancing is prominent, and shifting jobs is a necessary career goal. In such a situation, retaining the same pension level without doing anything great is not an option.
Everyone is struggling because of all this. The situation gets worsened when they don’t even know about financial management or planning about money or financial matters, and the end result is a total disaster.
So, the prime responsibility of managing this situation lies in the government because it is primarily responsible for devising the syllabus and instructing schools to teach these matters to students as well.
Who’ll teach financial matters in school?
What if the government makes it mandatory for schools to teach personal finance and money matters? Do you think this is going to solve the issue? Not exactly. This issue isn’t a single-dimensional. The schools aren’t capable of teaching these matters to children. Why?
Because they don’t have enough teachers to address this subject, how is this possible? The first outlook on this question you might be right. It is not a possibility that teachers who are already grown up and dealing with their own financial matters would have this much understanding that they can teach your brains about financial matters. But give it a second thought? Do you think everyone in society is dealing with money matters efficiently? We don’t think so.
Teachers are part of the same old system that isn’t aware of managing personal finance in the best possible way. Obviously, there can be individual exceptions, but we are talking as a whole. So, how do you expect your children to learn from them? There is no direct way. You’ll have to train those teachers first and then expect them to teach.
So, with this dimension of the problem, we are back again to the government, who never tried to make this topic part of the curriculum. Moreover, the future steps that would be required to improve the situation should be taken by the government. So, the ball gets in the government’s court again.
Home teaching could have been an option:
This is an important matter, and the lives of our next generation would be dependent on it, so isn’t we spend some time in teaching the personal finance a bit about the financial issues that we know they would be facing in their life. That is actually a wonderful idea.
But don’t you think parents are part of the same society as well where financials were never a priority of school or government or even their parents. And at that time, it was justified too because financial dealings were not as troublesome as they today are. So, how do you think parents can play any role in all of it?
Thus, keeping any expectations from parents, in this regard, is not a wise idea as well. And even in this case, parents can’t be blamed for the same reasons for which teachers can’t be blamed. Even if one or two households can manage to teach personal financing to kids, they’ll just be counted as exceptions and not a society-wide trend.
Can school going children learn them on their own?
Children might be able to learn this money topic on their own, but there are two main dimensions to it. Firstly, do you think students would be able to realize the importance of a matter when it is not being taught in school or by parents? Who’ll actually tell them this is important to learn and they should pay some attention to it.
Obviously, there are a lot of educational forums that they can get help from, but for that, they’ll need to realize that there is something that they don’t know. Parents and schools can collectively play their role in making the children aware about the importance of managing finances in personal life. Ultimately, it is going to benefit society as a whole.
The second dimension that we’ll have to consider here is that students or children might not have to find any means for learning if budgeting and planning are part of the household. If by any means, you or your parents have learned how to keep things in budget or how to make a well-informed decision, then it is highly possible that it will run in families. For such families, it is a normal activity that everyone does, so the kids pick things up from their surroundings easily without even knowing that they are learning an important financial matter.
But for the parents or families with bad financial habits, children get an even worse practical example to deal with finances, and they get so caught up in finding the right way that they might not get it properly even in the practical field.
We are missing the starting point:
What if you know all about personal finance and money matters, from where will you start teaching? Would you focus on saving or investment? Will you give preference to portfolio selection, or you’ll tell the students to find the right portfolio manager. Similarly, what about mortgages?
Got stuck? We guess everyone here is going through the same situation. People who know the important concepts and terms about managing finances are not sure where to start. But what is the reason behind it?
The curriculum and the teaching methods that have nurtured all of us aren’t strong enough to give the right direction. The teaching techniques are mostly outdated, which reduces the interest of students in learning as well. So, you can only expect such a result. It is because of these teaching techniques that students won’t opt for mathematics or history as a subject. They find them boring. So, finance is actually the next level.
Are students really interested?
Even after blaming the schools, government, teachers, students, and the techniques, do we really know that students are interested in learning? Experts in finance say that they aren’t, and that makes the task of teaching money even more difficult, but is that really too?
Yeah, because students in college find budgeting boring. They want to spend money, buy things, and have fun. Obviously, at that time, they aren’t earning. So, they don’t exactly know the hard work that is required to get that money.
There are many students who have no interest in history, but you’ll still make them study it. Won’t you? So, why can’t it be applicable to managing finances? Additionally, it is not necessary that students won’t be interested in money related subjects. You need to have the right methods and adequate knowledge about teaching techniques to grab the attention of the students.
Furthermore, teaching about financial matters doesn’t mean that you should restrict them from spending or having fun. With this subject, you’ll be teaching them about the consequences of rash spending and the problems that they could face later in life. Even this understanding won’t inhibit them from this attitude. But they’ll actually be prepared that they are going to face some serious situation ahead.
So, as we don’t have our own approach right, we think that the students might not be interested in learning about finance. You start teaching them and then see the interest of the students and their acceptance of the subject.
Do you think we as a society want to teach finance to students?
No, we don’t want that. Feeling weird? Have a deeper look. What if everyone would make a rational decision? No one would earn extra money. The entire economy would slow down, and there won’t be huge profits and tax collection that banks, large corporations, and government are earning.
So, isn’t it in favor of the entire major stakeholder except for the consumer that financial management must not be taught at the initial level? Do you think that is the reason why is finance considered a tough subject that can’t be understood by everyone?
Financial professionals and analysts usually use scary terms and jargons to keep people away from the subject. And most of the people believe them and has developed it as a culture that finance is something that you should not poke your nose in. Only a handful of people reach this specialization, and they get the part of the same system.
But do you think everyone is the part of the master plan:
We know that we have portrayed a gloomy picture of the finances and financial matters. But not everyone is against learning. Great minds do understand that rationale use of resources is ultimately going to benefit society. So, you just can’t go for short-term gain and expect long-term benefits too.
Similarly, the increasing acceptability of financial degrees in later stages of life is another indication that people are interested in managing finance and related matters, and universities are promoting these courses and specializations too.
So, things are changing, at least, slowly.
What should be done for improvement?
Now when we have raised this issue, we should be highlighting a few of the solutions to cater to the problem as well. One of the most implementable solutions that we can give is to start giving importance to finance and financial matters in your home. Your children would learn the basics from you. With the high aptitude and interest of students in finance, government and school would be focusing on the provision of professional-level education on managing personal finance and budgeting too.
From here, we can expect to start making changes in the culture and the overall consumerism approach. Even if nothing else would change, at least your children would be among the individuals who’ll know the basics of it. Here are some of the ways that can help you in saving money. Don’t forget to share them with your friends.
Do you have some better suggestions through which we can teach our children about financial management? Share your opinion in the comments section. We’ll be looking forward to more solutions.