Once upon a time, math and life-education simply didn’t add up.
We would teach children how to add and subtract, multiply and divide, and even more abstract concepts like algebra, geometry and calculus.
But we failed to bridge this learning to life after school – even the real-world basics of money management such as budgeting, saving and investing.
The consequence of this lack in A + B = C is everywhere you look. Our country and its citizens are in greater debt than ever before. Consumerism is rampant. Individual savings are small or non-existent, and many families are simply struggling and surviving from paycheck to paycheck. We have an aging population while a growing number of people acknowledge they will struggle to retire.
Unfortunately, financial illiteracy is a critical barrier to inclusion. Those with a lack of knowledge about finance and financial products are unable to fairly access banking and financial services, and are therefore isolated from the country’s financial markets. It’s plain to see that financial literacy is extremely important not just to people’s financial and spiritual wellbeing, but to the overall health of our country’s economy.
Recent trends have only heightened the social costs of financial illiteracy.
Today, cost of living increases are outstripping most peoples’ wages. Personal savings are dwindling and banks offer no yield on whatever savings people do have socked away. Meanwhile, the after-effects of the pandemic have created further instability in the job market with an accelerating trend toward offshoring and outsourcing hurting the manufacturing sector, and Robotic Process Automation (RPI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies edging closer to mainstream acceptance and challenging traditional office work as well.
Fortunately, we’re finally beginning to move financial literacy into the curriculum spotlight. It all started in 2004 when Utah became the first state to require a half-credit financial literacy class as a graduation mandate. Another seven states gradually followed, each requiring a stand-alone course that provides students with a general understanding of personal finance and the wherewithal to make sound financial decisions. Now, the importance of financial literacy in schools has gained some real positive momentum with another seven states – Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island and South Carolina – actively planning to implement a financial literacy requirement in the very near future.
Naturally, every state has its own approach to financial literacy with curricula varying across classrooms but common and common-sense topics include concepts such as budgeting and saving; understanding credit scores; the ins and outs of banking; how to open and manage an investment account; how insurance coverage works; the intricacies of loans, debts and interest payment calculations; risk management and wealth building; and college planning.
The benefits of teaching financial literacy to children are astronomical.
It’s easier for individuals to have those important saving/spending/budgeting reflexes when they’re young.
Early on, they can develop the necessary associations between making money, saving money, thinking about how they spend their money and being intentional with the way money is spent. The idea is when those habits are developed early they’re carried through for life.
From Snow Cloud’s infancy, empowering financial literacy has always been one of the company’s core ambitions. Our solutions address financial behavior management and behavior modification starting with the elementary grades through to high school to provide hands-on, practical skills that address the financial literacy challenges students will inevitably face later in life. Basic concepts learned through our programs include understanding the value of money, money-related math, responsible cash management, consequences of behavior and more. Our Replicated Reality platform takes things one step further, providing hands-on learning through a banking module, jobs module, real estate module, online store module and more.
Whether you’re within or outside of the 15 states that have implemented or preparing to implement financial literacy in schools, Snow Cloud can support your curriculum in giving students what they really need to succeed in life after school.
Contact us today to learn more about our financial literacy solutions. For your children’s sake, they are definitely worth every penny of your investment.