In light of the growing list of the benefits of a personal finance education, some are left wondering, “Why isn’t personal finance taught in school?” The answer is a general failure of the education system to identify the most relevant skills students should possess. While some point to underfunding as a response to the question of why personal finance isn’t taught in school, the education manages to fund STEM programs with expensive computers and lab equipment, but cannot find room in the budget for personal finance 101 course.
A research study analyzing the effects of parents’ values on children found a statistically significant positive association between parent’s savings rates and children’s savings rates (University of Agder). https://home.uia.no/ellenkn/WebleyNyhus2006.pdf
Parents who have three or more types of savings are more likely to have kids who discuss money with them (83% vs. 66%) and less likely to have kids who spend money as soon as they get it (40% vs. 52%) or lie about their spending (34% vs. 43%) (Money Confident Kids). http://www.moneyconfidentkids.com/content/dam/money-confident-kids/PDFs/PKM-Surveys/2017_PKM_Results.pdf
“It’s pretty much how we get anything added to the curriculum. When parents said children needed to be computer literate, the schools started responding. The same thing is true of basic financial literacy.” – Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator
Skeptics of why personal finance is important have conducted a thorough review of the abundant academic literature supporting the case for increased financial literacy within our communities. Financial literacy done correctly has been demonstrated to increase the amount allocated towards retirements savings, reduce stress caused by financial problems, and increase the net worth of learners. Such research enumerating the benefits of financial literacy, taken in aggregate, shifts the burden of proof to the skeptics in proving that teaching personal finance in schools does not work.
New Zealand’s Commission for Financial Literacy and Retirement Income encourages initiatives to share knowledge and research with other programs and to systematically evaluate the program’s effectiveness (Commission for Financial Capability). https://www.cffc.org.nz
The World Bank recommends leveraging social networks, identifying an underserved target population, and presenting the material in a novel and engaging way (WorldBank.org) http://worldbank.org