Financial illiteracy is a widespread problem in our country, which costs us a lot. Did you know this 38% of people said they lost at least $500 – With 15% losing $10,000 or more – in 2022 due to their lack of financial literacy? no wonder Walden University thesis It found that only 3 in 7 Americans are considered financially literate, with more than 65 percent unable to manage their own finances.
These numbers are staggering and show how important financial literacy is in helping people improve their lives.
April is National Financial Literacy Month, a time to raise public awareness about the importance of financial education and smart money management habits. It is also a time to celebrate our steps towards educating young people about personal finance and preparing them for their financial future.
Financial lessons learned in youth can affect a person’s financial situation for the rest of their lives. Children with savings accounts Owning stocks is four times and six times more likely to attend college. Unfortunately, Nearly three-quarters of teens in America They are not sure of their financial ability. Unsurprisingly, about the same number said they wanted to know more but needed help figuring out where to start.
Beyond data, I can personally attest to the importance of financial literacy in this age.
Growing up, I learned these lessons the hard way. My mother died due to hospital negligence when I was 14, leaving my father and the single father of four daughters. After a malpractice lawsuit, we won a massive settlement; It’s all gone in less than 24 months. After that, I became a single mother and eventually homeless after my first year of college.
Get the latest political news updates from Central Florida and across the state.
These tough times taught me the importance of financial literacy and money management skills, especially at a young age. After getting a job as a bank teller in college, I realized there was no limit to the life I could create if I took control of my finances and educated myself. Thanks to these lessons, I graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Business Administration and a minor in Economics. I also bought my first home as a graduation gift, left public assistance for the first time in my life and furthered my career in financial services.
My personal experience has shown me that financial education is essential, especially for young people, and can make a huge difference in creating a financially stable future. That’s why she founded 8 Cents in a Jar, a nonprofit organization that promotes financial literacy for marginalized students. Since our beginning in 2016, we’ve helped over 2,500 students pay off debt, open bank accounts, buy homes, and achieve over $51,000 in new wealth.
Students can build a solid foundation for their future with proper financial literacy education. For example, last year Florida became the 24th largest state to mandate personal finance education in high schools. Dorothy’s Law aims. Financial literacy aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to make better money management decisions. The data confirm thisThree years after implementing personal finance education in all three states, Georgia, Texas, and Idaho experienced sharp declines in delinquency rates as credit scores increased.
These are important steps in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done. We must continue to advocate for financial literacy at the national level. Make sure your finances are in order by taking advantage of resources like financial planning calculators, budgeting tools, and educational materials. Have honest conversations about money with friends and family, especially young people. Volunteer or donate to organizations focused on financial literacy.
Let’s use this month as an opportunity to take steps towards building a financially literate society where people are empowered to make informed financial decisions.
LaShea C.Reaves, who lives in Apopka, is the CEO of 8 Cents in a Jar.