TED Conversations


This conversation is closed.

Financial Education?

When do we teach our children about Money?

In today’s financial crises many are going through tough times while others are making themselves a fortune. If the way that education system teaches our young generation about economy and finance, what stopped them from seeing what was coming when they "knew" all about finance and economy?

What do today’s youth know about money and money management, apart from being the biggest consumers of all time?

Through my experience in dealing with youth I hardly see any young teenager who does truly cares what’s going on in today’s financial world. (not to mention the adults who do not care to watch the financial news on TV during the NEWS)

How can we bring to their awareness of fair trade and educate them how to be smart with their own economy?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Feb 7 2013: Pat, it is NOT that simple I'm sorry to say.

    I have been in the 'financial literacy' industry since 2002, created Camp Millionaire for kids and teens and a game called The Money Game. both highly effective and fun.

    Getting kids and teens (and the adults who tend them) to understand how money works is much bigger than basic economics. Why? Because as someone else pointed out, human beings are emotional and we buy things because of emotion...even the things we 'need' we buy because of some emotion.

    There are more reasons our country is financially illiterate than I could begin to cover and the rabbit hole is deeper than you'd ever imagine.

    1) Adults have a hard time teaching kids something they don't know or understand AND are uncomfortable with.
    2) Human beings make money mean WAY more than it really means. I teach that money is a tool to make our dreams come true but we make it mean something about who we are, how smart we are, how good we are, how successful we are, etc.
    3) Marketing skills have increased to the point where anything can be marketing to anyone, any age and it's not just the poor who are easily enticed...it's everyone. I have read that the most gullible are the people who think that they are NOT gullible!
    4) Financial education isn't required in most schools. When it IS taught, it's thrown into a grade or a semester and then you read articles that say Financial Education doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work! Either would math or English or science if it were taught for just one semester or one year.
    5) We have to stop lying to our kids, telling them that going to college and getting a job is the only way. Politicians scream that we need to create more jobs, but Hello, who do they think are going to create those jobs? Entrepreneurs! So why isn't THIS taught in every grade in America? Why does this seem so simple an answer but hardly ever done?
    6) We created a system that perpetuates the idea that we don't have to be responsible.

    • Feb 8 2013: You are truly a brilliant person and should have your own talk show or something. Where did you learn so much about teaching kids about money?
    • thumb
      Feb 8 2013: I don't see that you have indicated anything that is not simple? YES it is that simple

      The problem is the memes that you run into. People some on this thread love to extol their knowledge on this subject but no doubt would flunk an exam on the subject. The first barrier to learning something is knowing that you don't know about something which is what you are running into. But in reality if a person has bought into the liberal Santa Barbara politics you would be better off teaching someone who can learn.

      Myself I was not formally educated in economics but I'm a logical person which definitely helps. A number of years ago I read a book called basic economics by Thomas Sowell and boom this book was life changing. I always understood that the free market was the way to go but after I read the book I knew why.

      The problem is that politicians prosper by spreading these memes. You asked why is it so hard well it is because politicians want it that way.

      It has been done in the past Paul Martin did this in Canada in the mid 90's. IMO we could do the same today and if we don't this country is toast.
      • thumb
        Feb 9 2013: Pat...as much as I'd love to discuss memes and Santa Barbara politics, neither of them have any bearing on the topic. Just because I LIVE in SB doesn't mean anything about my politics.

        But what I know is financial literacy and you are completely wrong...it is NOT simple.
    • Feb 8 2013: Elisabeth,

      I agree with what you say... just like you I also mention that money isn't just the unite of exchange, but the most useful tool that ever been invented. the more tools you have the bigger your work will be.

      but let me go to my main question: How can we bring to their awareness of fair trade and educate them how to be smart with their own economy?

      I mean how we can make it easy to understand and apply. a 13 years old boy or a girl knows better how to play a computer game, than understanding where from and how is that game created.
      when you start to explain that this games is made to make money, it is not believable as the just downloaded for free or just a little amount of money (they didn't work for).

      I introduced them the Monopoly game (made easy) to understand that how they can buy assets and make money out of it (instead of buying liabilities and increasing their expenses) ... some thought it was interesting, (but not always)

      reading Financial Times (FT) or Forbes, is far from topic. I dont even seen any one read Financial news on the news papers, as they directly jump to Sports or Celebrities section. (I think there is a easy language used to be understood). while financial news got difficult language. in the end of the day, in today's world in every family it is the financial situation that matters (either you want to go on holidays, or pay your bills, kids' collage, no matter what). We all talk about money.

      I, myself, found my entrepreneurial skills since I was 11 or 12 years old, I was buying and selling.
      and I enjoyed more the interactions and communications with people than the money that was adding up.
      This was the first class education that money couldn't buy.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.