Financial Curriculum Offers Tips for High School Students

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“Live the lifestyle you want while you’re young enough to experience life,” serves as the motto for the financial curriculum for teenagers offered by the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC). This motto proves quite apropos, as the program materials have real-world applicability to help kids pursue their dreams and goals.

The NFEC, an independent organization with a social enterprise model, develops financial education curriculum for all ages. The program for high school students opens with a goal-setting activity that asks kids to identify their dream lives. Then they are guided to set viable goals using the SMART guidelines—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-driven.

Goal-setting is a great activity to start off a high school personal finance curriculum because it encourages young people to build a road map toward a healthy financial future. Financial wellness begins with good money management skills. Writing down reasonable goals provides direction and motivation. When youth continue to review and visualize their goals and follow the steps in their plans, the skills they learn are more likely to become habits.

Another tip in the NFEC’s high school financial literacy curriculum is to develop a personal budget based on knowing the difference between one’s “wants” and “needs.” Just like learning to drive a car, kids learn how to master this basic financial strategy: build sound saving strategies and good spending habits. The NFEC curriculum describes several benefits of having a budget:

  • Control. Knowing exactly how much money you have gives you control over your finances.
  • Organization. Writing down a plan helps keep your money organized.
  • More money. When you stick to a budget, you’ll probably have more money left over each month.
  • Opportunity. Learning to budget opens up important opportunities.

These are just a few examples of the valuable life lessons to which high school students are exposed when they take part in the NFEC curriculum program. Every step kids take toward financial literacy is a step toward a happy future.

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