Last year, I asked in high schools should require money management classes. My point of view is that such classes should be optional and/or lessons in personal finance can be incorporated into other classes throughout middle school and high school. Not everyone agrees with me, however, considering the state of financial distress many in this country face.
A commenter wrote in to describe his experience with a specific money management curriculum called Real Money, Real World, part of the Your Money NOW program sponsored by the Ohio Treasurer of State.
Schools can devote as little as 90 minutes or as much as a grading period to the program.
It works like this: Students get jobs and salaries based on their current GPA (the higher your GPA, the better paying job you get). Several booths are set-up with different signs relating life events. Students go to each to add children, housing, entertainment, cars, etc into their budget. At the end, they have to have a balanced budget.
I helped out at one of these events at my local high school and it was great to see these kids doing the math and complaining how much kids cost or how they can’t buy the clothes they want because their job doesn’t allow it.
The program sounds like a good start. I particularly like this resource: a description of the savings you could experience [pdf] by maintaining a credit score of 680 rather than 580.
Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published March 18, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.