Financial literacy programs for kids have the benefit of being able to help shape positive money habits in children before they get started down the wrong track. Many factors influence a child’s financial behaviors, and these stimuli can have powerful impact down the road.
First, there’s the child’s family situation. Most kids come into the world as part of a family, and that family has unique financial circumstances. Some families have lower socio-economic positioning, which may mean the children will encounter certain challenges. But even high-level socio-economic status doesn’t necessarily mean the parents are smart with their finances. There’s a chance for programs to intervene before the kids pick up bad habits.
Second, financial behaviors start building at a young age, and a kids financial literacy program should consider how to help them avoid the pressures of marketing. Just think about how much advertising to which children are exposed. For example, food industry ads that specifically target kids and youth have been connected with the increase in childhood obesity, according to the American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org
Third, financial sentiment comes into play. “Financial sentiment” refers to one’s feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and relationship with money. Personal finance is an emotionally charged subject. Helping kids develop positive financial sentiment involves teaching them key skills that build their self-confidence and increasing their understanding of how money can work for them, instead of against them.
Fourth, consider how few financial literacy programs for kids actually are being presented at school. Most people never receive financial education, and less than 17% of public school students are required to take personal finance training. That figure just indicates how much room for improvement is available.