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The Importance of Teaching Financial Literacy

Why AFS Should Implement Optional Financial Courses
Logan Copeland ’26

How much of the material you’re learning during your high school experience are you certain you can apply to your everyday life? Sure, the fundamentals of our curriculum work to build upon scholarly skills that we can leverage later in the workforce, yet the majority of our courses do not directly correspond with the responsibilities of adulthood.

Financial literacy, the art of effective money management, can be a harsh reality for many young adults entering the age of independence, but it doesn’t have to be this way. It is up to Abington Friends School whether or not its graduates will excel in this crucial department of responsibility, or pay the price. 

Becoming fluent in financial literacy is a life skill that can save students from making poor financial decisions down the road. AFS, as an educational institution, owes us the opportunity to gain security in an area of practice that’s foreign to many our age. 

Teaching the importance of maintaining a good credit score, navigating loans, and unpacking the meaning behind high interest rates is crucial to avoiding debt and being taken advantage of when making big financial decisions. We can nip this problem in the bud prematurely by teaching these skills early, and exposing students to proper terminology and the economic basics.

Investing, and an introduction to the stock market, is important now more than ever with the surge of inflation. Inflation, the increase in the rate of the cost of goods resulting from a decrease in the value of the dollar, can be combated with feasible investments. 

Instilling in students the value of investing will inspire them to compound their money overtime at a rate that doubles inflation and in turn beats the system. In doing so, you make your money work for you. 

Building a savings plan deserves a space in the classroom just as much as a more traditional, core principle such as writing an essay. Tracking spending habits and establishing an emergency fund offers students the chance at an early retirement and financial stability. 

It is never too early to start having budgetary discussions in school, only too late. We no longer have the comfort of depending on social security taking into account the cost of living today, and no one wants to work forever.    

Start investing in students by teaching them financial literacy. 


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  • M

    MatthewMay 13, 2024 at 1:08 pm

    I am extremly happy this got brought up. I know of many kids who are “irrasponsible” with their money and will end up buying off of impulse rather then neceisty. I think that is okay when you’re yound and don’t have much to worry about, but if they’re not taught how to be financailly literate they could end up in a bad situation. I was luckly enough that from a very young age I was taught how to save, the basics of investing, and be conscious of my spending, and it has really helped me maintain what little income I have. I think a good start for teaching kids financial literacy at AFS would be though an Exterm. Whether the Exterm be a stock market simulation to help teach investing, or more of an indepth dive into banks and how they make money, I think that it would be benifical to have aleast something.

  • T

    TimurMay 13, 2024 at 1:06 pm

     I think it is really important to teach students in highschool to be financially literate and how to take care of their money and just how to navigate the world of finances overall. It is important because a lot of people end up leaving highschool and never being taught how to take care of their money they end up acquiring a lot of credit card debt and other forms of debt, had they been taught what to do to avoid that and how all of that works there is a higher chance that they wouldn’t be in debt and would instead be in the positives. Finance is a big part of the world and a majority of your life as an adult past highschool is based around finances so I think if you really want to prepare students for the real world outside of highschool it is important to teach them how to manage their money well. 

  • N

    NoahMay 13, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    I completely support the idea of bringing financial literacy courses into the AFS curriculum. Finance is a very intricate subject as it has many different aspects that are each crucial to the success of your decisions. In my house, I am exposed to a lot of these topics from my father as he is an economist. Alongside being able to learn more about finance, his teachings have also shown me how little I know. Some parts I had never heard about before, and others were more specific about broader sections that I would have never even thought to consider. Either way, it feels like there is always something new to learn every day, and since not everyone has someone in their family to discuss finance, chances are some will have to learn the hard way, that is through error. Objectively, it is better to have a way to learn about financial literacy early on in life so that none of us have to suffer later on. AFS can offer many different classes to educate its students about finance, and maybe even a new department can be formed dedicated to financial literacy.,

  • J

    JosephineMay 13, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    I definitely agree with the fact that AFS and school in general should be teaching more classes on financial literacy. I think that it is a really important topic, and can often make young adults much more successful in the adult world, especially if their parents aren’t able to teach them or they don’t know enough to teach them. I think that, while certain math classes can relate to this topic, we don’t really have any classes that would allow students to learn the necessary tools and knowledge that would allow them to be independent and accomplished. Right now, we aren’t learning enough to be able to simply leave high school and be a functioning adult. Most people aren’t given another chance outside of school to learn about things like how to invest, or how to manage loans or taxes and this often results in making bad financial decisions that affect the rest of their lives just from not knowing the correct way to handle it.

  • N

    NatalieMay 13, 2024 at 11:07 am

    I completely agree that financial literacy is extremely important for young rising adults, especially in this economy. I think financial literacy would be especially important for me because of the disconnect I think I have with the real world. If I were to learn more about things that will actually help me with my future, unlike learning certain things in math that I might never use again, it would be a lot more helpful. There are so many struggles that a young adult would have to face once they are just thrown out into society, and a person’s financial situation is one of the most important. I would love there to be a class about useful skills that I would need when I am out in the real world. 

  • S

    syeMay 13, 2024 at 10:46 am

    I agree with what this author stated in the article. Financial literacy is one of the most important skills to have when entering adulthood. It is a skill that not everyone has and something that we are sent out into the world to figure out ourselves. While I believe it is important to learn from experience, this is a subject that is important to at least know the basics of. There are many mistakes young people make when first becoming financially independent and these are things that are greatly avoidable. I remember hearing that in 12th grade health you touch on financial subjects however this is an important skill that we would greatly benefit from it being easily accessible within our school.

  • L

    LoganMay 13, 2024 at 10:42 am

    As someone who comes from a family where we talk about money openly, I have a good understanding of how finances work. But I understand that this is not the case for everyone. I think it would be a smart move for AFS to implement a rudimentary finance class. It doesn’t need to go super in-depth; it just needs to explain essential parts of the finance world, like loans, interest rates, and credit cards. Setting up a class like this will help the seniors understand what credit cards they should be using and how to build credit scores. Many college students are not familiar with the different types of credit cards available to them and how interest rates work. As a result, they often accumulate significant credit card debt in addition to their student loans. This can make it even more challenging for them to manage their finances and pay for their education.

  • I

    Isabella GanMay 9, 2024 at 8:47 am

    I agree with that. Finance is an important skill for students to learn. It is not just if you hit the jackpot or become very rich so you start to think about finance. Everyone should think about finance such as how to manage property, and how to invest. My host mom often said we all should learn how to manage our money. If students learn some basic finance skills, they will not be blinded by others in the future in work and life about money management. Finance is relevant to everyone in the world. I think letting students learn finance is necessary so they can be better equipped to manage their money. Moreover, if students learn some finance, they will have better emergency responses. Like what the author said in the article, if we know about finance, we can not only rely on the social security system in the future but to rely on ourselves.

  • J

    JacobMay 9, 2024 at 7:35 am

    I also feel like we need a optional class about finances because I have never received any financial knowledge through AFS beyond the basics of investing makes you more money. I never learned how to invest let alone when or in what areas. By giving us part of the necessary information AFS is telling us we should do something while not telling us how to do it leaving me and I’m sure many others stumped at how we should proceed in not just the world of investments but also in savings, loans, and taxation. It is no wonder so many people struggle with paying yearly taxes because they were never taught in depth how to properly and efficiently complete them. Not to mention financial literacy is not equal across socioeconomic status and AFS could better promote equality among its students in their future endeavors by providing this opportunity.

  • H

    Henry G.May 8, 2024 at 7:47 am

    I agree with this article because financial literacy and learning how to manage money will help you for the rest of your life. The most financially literate countries like Denmark, Australia, and New Zealand also have high GDPs and rank very high in human development and education. If some education policy were to be implemented in the United States for the tens of millions of students, a real impact could be made on the short and long-term lives of students. As this article said, learning about inflation, the stock market, loans, credit scores, and interest rates will prepare kids for living and managing their finances independently. Around 50% of people in the U.S. are financially literate. In Canada, over 70% of people are financially literate. This is likely due to their education policies that incorporate financial literacy and other aspects of finances. So yes. I agree that financial literacy should be taught in schools.

  • E

    Eli BelotserkovskiyMay 8, 2024 at 7:31 am

    Financial literacy should be one of the most important subjects taught in schools. Some lessons like reading Shakespeare and learning Calculus which require you to go into a specific field for them to have use. Unlike those, financial literacy can be applied in everyone life and will be a huge help in money management. 90% of lottery winners go broke. This is because they have no idea about how to manage money and end up spending way more then they have. This is because of a failure in the education system. Financial literacy would be a huge improvement to the school system and we need to start addressing it. Schools need to stop teaching kids useless things to study for and instead give them something that will make them more likely to be successful.