Cool for Kids to Be Financially Aware

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
August 13, 2012 /

The harsh reality of life is demonstrated by the need for financial education for kids. This is now part of the reality of growing up and is something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The present generation of children will be forced to confront a variety of financial related challenges the previous generations did not have. These could be related to exorbitant college fees to making plans for their later retirement and everything between. The seriousness of the economy in recent times has motivated concern regarding the financial education of our children for the future since overextended credit card scares in the nineteen nineties.

Now schools such as the Henderson Elementary School in Chicago have taken the responsibility of teaching their kids about practical money management. They become aware of the differences between saving for a desired item next year, to investing in their education for the next decade. This type of program is supported by non-profit and financial institutions with the combined aim of making it cool for kids to be involved in financial education.

From kindergarten to High School their financial education is developed; from Lemonade Days and the most basic principles of entrepreneurship. They are taught that savings are not only for spending but for investing in their future and using it as a protection. This is an innovation in education that has penetrated into become part of their curriculums. A particular incentive for this program is that every kid loves money, what it can give them and do for them. Therefore, the introduction of financial discipline with financial education provides them with a confidence and the ability to help in planning their future and understanding financial security.

A realistic perception relative to financial education for kids is that it is a remedy for financial illiteracy in the future, as is being experienced today in many quarters. As well as teaching them about money, it also provides behavioral lessons in delayed self gratification and how to control impulsiveness.

The plan established by Chicago, although considered ambitious for a large city, has been used in various and innovative ways by smaller communities, to help with the financial education of children. An example of this is seen in Appleton, Wisconsin where students are encouraged with “hands-on” experience of finance; even serving as bank tellers to gain valuable and practical knowledge of the financial system.


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