The government isn’t the only ones experiencing problems with balancing their budget. More of us are becoming overburdened by debt with each passing month, and many are experiencing financial setbacks that could take years for a recovery. The increasing debt load among college students and young professionals is a growing trend and many are learning their financial lessons the hard way.
A new study, conducted by The National Foundation for Credit Counseling, has revealed some concerning information about the financial practices of Americans. The study showed that many carry balances month to month on their cards. Further, the majority of us estimate our understanding of financial management to be a grade of C or lower. How can this be?
What Should We Be Teaching?
Colleges are packed with students carrying many books to classes each day, but is anyone teaching our young professionals about how to manage their finances. It is all too easy for a college student to complete that pre-approved credit card offer and begin racking up debt. Student loan and credit card debt is now the largest source of debt among young Americans under the age of 30. Getting an education is important, but completing your degree only to have to work hard through retirement just to pay off all of your debt hardly seems worth it. What about educating our next generation about how to manage their finances appropriately?
The National Council on Economic Education reported that 90 percent of adults and student believe it is important to learn economics, but only 50 percent of high school graduates reported ever being taught economics in school. It was news such as this that inspired Morgan Vandagriff to co-found a program called Banazi. The program teaches financial literacy to high school and middle school students. Further action has resulted in April becoming Financial Literacy month, thanks to a Senate bill that was passed in March of 2004. Since then, many government and private organizations have been working to develop programs to teach financial literacy.