Finance

Fail our children? A personal finance class is only required in these 24 states

Rear view of female student sitting in the class and raising hand up to ask question during lecture.

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Stereotypes about millennials and financial planning might be true, according to some studies. A survey found that the average millennial spends 150 more hours on social media than they spend managing their finances, GOBankingRates previously reported. And, when it comes to personal finance, the future is also not very bright for the next generations who want to obtain a university degree.

See: 7 fastest ways to save $20,000, according to experts
Millennials vs Gen X: Who spends the most time working and who spends the most time spending?

Only 23 states currently require students to have completed personal finance training before graduating. Worse, in the two years since the Council on Economic Education released the state survey, only two states have added a personal finance course requirement for graduation.

Of the 23 states requiring personal finance education, only 10 have a standalone course requirement, while the rest incorporate courses into another class. Is your state on the list of personal finance requirements?

Autonomous high school course required

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Courses integrated into another course

  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • new York
  • North Dakota
  • Caroline from the south
  • Texas

If your state is not on this list, you can take steps to advocate for personal finance education. The CEE report stated, “Effective personal financial education requires both the strength of state-level action and the flexibility of community implementation.”

First, if your school district offers financial education, but it’s not required, encourage your children to take the course. Discuss what they are learning at home. Set up methods so they can start practicing personal finance. You might consider giving them their own debit card and savings account so they can learn how to manage their money.

Second, get involved in your community. Write to your school board and superintendent to request a personal finance course for your school or district. Additionally, write to state legislators and advocate for statewide requirements, while allowing districts to set their own curriculum tailored to people in their community.

Retirement: 45% of millennials think now is not the time to invest in their future
Explore: Millennial wealth has doubled during the pandemic, but lags far behind baby boomers

Finally, advocate nationally and locally for teachers in your district to get the professional development they want and need to teach personal finance as part of a comprehensive curriculum.

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About the Author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer with interests in finance, e-commerce, technology, and real estate. His long list of publishing credits includes Bankrate, Lending Tree and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of GeekTravelGuide.net, a travel, technology and entertainment website. She lives in Long Island, New York, with a veritable menagerie that includes 2 cats, a rambunctious kitten and three lizards of different sizes and personalities – plus her two children and her husband. Find her on Twitter, @DawnAllcot.