In my last post, I spoke about the importance of early financial education. I recently learned of a terrific organization, the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC), that focuses entirely on this topic. Here’s their mission statement: “The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) is creating a world where people are informed to make qualified financial decisions that improve their lives. We provide financial education resources, promote advocacy campaigns, and help organizations build sustainable financial education programs.” I have to tell you, just reading those words gives me hope for the financial future of our children – and here’s why.
In focusing on creating a standardized financial curriculum, NFEC is addressing a real and dangerous problem in our country: the absence of anything even closely resembling a financial education in our schools. Quite frankly, it’s unacceptable that we are still prioritizing esoteric and unnecessary knowledge, like micro-details of the average Bronze Age Mesopotamian’s diet, over important, real-life knowledge, like how to avoid accruing debt, how to write a resume, and how to create and follow a budget.
People wonder how the Financial Crisis of 2008 could have happened. To me, it’s quite obvious that this stock market crash was a direct result of the fact that most Americans knew next-to-nothing about how to responsibly manage their finances, or why it would be a terrible idea to do things like take out four mortgages on one house. If we want to prevent another financial crisis caused by the same national Achilles’ heel from happening, it is imperative that we start teaching our children the skills they’ll need to become fiscally responsible adults as early as possible. Based on my fervency about this subject, you can imagine how pleased I was to learn that NFEC’s curriculum starts at the pre-school level, when the organization advises that children should be taught basic concepts of numbers, time, money and income, value, market and exchange, choice, and social values.
If you’d like to learn more about the NFEC’s advised curriculum or the opportunities they provide for guided financial education, head over to their website at financialeducatorscouncil.org. Your children will thank you for it one day.