The federal government cannot manage money. No matter which side of the aisle you are on, that much is clear — especially as the United States government approaches a “fiscal cliff.”
If no debt reduction deal is reached before the New Year, a set of tax hikes will automatically be implemented and other spending cuts will go into effect, USA TODAY reported.
It remains to be seen what that all means for students, but even if the effects of going over the cliff are not immediate, a recession in 2013 is possible, according to NPR.
Which begs the question, if politicians can’t manage the country’s money, can students manage their own?
When I was in first grade, everyone in my class was instructed to open a checking and savings account with a local bank that is, of course, now defunct. That was the first and only time I learned about money management in an academic setting — something that should be a lifelong lesson.
The problems our generation faces with finances reflects the nation’s problems, especially when it comes to student loan debt. Student loan debt exceeded $1 trillion last year, and with students delaying major life events as a result, the impact on the economy remains to be seen.
Student loan debt and high unemployment are also leaving more students reconsidering the value of college degrees. Much of the backlash is because a college education is not necessarily geared toward practical skills.
College students are encouraged to learn a variety of skills before entering the real world, whether that means learning to drive or cooking a proper meal. Money management, however, is just as crucial, if not more.
Poor financial literacy can have lingering effects, as Millenials continue to accumulate debt and avoid learning to budget. Farther down the line, money problems are known to be a leading cause for divorce.
College is not the ideal time for students to learn money management — but it should not be a lesson taught in elementary school and then forgotten. The need is definitely present, and high school is the opportunity to ingrain financial lessons in students before they go to college.
As of 2011, only 13 states require high school students to take a personal finance class. If that’s the case, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised 60% of people between 18 and 34 years old do not keep a budget.
So if today’s federal government cannot manage money, what will happen when our generation comes to age and power? Hopefully we’ll learn how to budget by then.
Powered by Facebook Comments