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Financial Fitness: Raising Financially Literate Children
by Sherry Rahmani, Program Outreach Coordinator
Financial fitness was the hot topic of the day at the 2015 CalCPA Financial Literacy Summit, co-hosted alongside California Jump$tart Coalition. I had the pleasure of meeting educators and financial literacy advocates and introduced them to some of the resources offered by BizWorld.org for financial literacy improvement. It was an honor to contribute to such an important cause and have the opportunity to collaborate on ways to tackle the issue of financial literacy.
There were great keynotes regarding the success, challenges and progress for financial literacy in public education and sessions on managing student loan debt that I found extremely informative and useful. Having volunteered as a college prep tutor for several years, I often met high school and college students who knew so little about important and complex financial issues that they were about to face. I always stressed the importance of building good financial habits and reminded them that earning a degree wouldn’t guarantee a career and/or a good income.
While teaching BizWorld at one of our local schools a month ago, I watched as the students learned how to be financially responsible. VPs of finance accompanied their team members as they shopped for materials and advised them on how much to spend. I remember seeing one VP of finance who refused to approve several withdrawal requests. After reviewing their numbers, she felt that they couldn’t take the risk of having any more expenses, and she didn’t want the company to end up with a loss. It was great to see young elementary students understanding important concepts such as paying rent and salaries and making smart spending decisions. I can say with confidence that these students are already better equipped to make sound financial decisions in the future.
It’s never too early to teach financial literacy and prepare kids for success. Many of us learned what we know about money management from our parents and caregivers. Nowadays, we’re turning to teachers to prepare our children for their financial future. As our wonderful educators around the nation equip tomorrow’s leaders with the knowledge to make smarter money decisions, we can support them by continuing our own financial education and building positive learning experiences for our children.