Times may have changed but each day we are faced with choices to make that can have life long effects, especially financial choices. The need for financial literacy is very important and has evolved with technology and learning. The younger you can begin being educated the better. According to many surveys, we are turning into a cashless society with over 70% of consumers saying they use less cash today than they did 10 years ago.
While technology has made spending easier and faster, it is ever more important to educate yourself on making wise financial choices. While the board game Monopoly is still the paragon of “good old fashioned fun”, multi colored paper money has been replaced with debit cards and calculator readers that keep track of your riches. Learning how to handle money may have changed, but learning how to make wise choices remains timeless and fundamental. “As parents and grandparents, we need to encourage our children to make wise financial choices,” says Rod Hames, business teacher at Crews Middle School in Lawrenceville.
How do you teach children in a technological driven world financial literacy? At Crews Middle School they are working to better prepare our children for a financially stable future. Rod Hames teaches a 9 week course to 150 students through an online financial literacy course. The students learned about saving, investing, taxes and insurance, credit cards, and everything in between. “We teach the children financial skills using online software from EverFi and speakers,” says Rod. “Roger Green with Green Financial Resources, has been working with my classes for many years speaking and now is a major donor to our business partnership program. In addition he just signed a partnership with EverFi (a financial software company) to provide every kid enrolled in my class with certification in personal finance, says Rod Hames.
This online course is accessible for the students in class and at home 24/7 and made possible through a partnership between Green Financial Resources, Crews Middle School, and Everfi. The students were exposed to some exciting online courses and learned about saving, investing, taxes and insurance, credit cards, and everything in between. “We need more financial literacy and it’s not about picking stocks, it’s doing the best with what we have,” says Jason Piper of Green Financial Resources. Ilia Kulikov, a 6th grade Crews Middle School student who completed the course says, “I learned how to save and spend interactively. Everfi was cool about learning. After you finish (levels) you get to play a game.”
An example of making wise choices would be:. You have $30 in the bank and know you need to buy a birthday gift. You are also invited to go to the movies and out to eat with friends. Do you go out to eat and to the movies with the $30 dollars. Does it matter where you go and how much does going out cost? If you go, will you have enough money for the birthday gift? What choice do you make? “I liked how we learned about money. We got to choose a business and buy stock that we tracked over a week. I think it is most important to save for college and education,” says Mia Bongcaron, a 6th grade student at Crews Middle School. “Starting early and often and recognizing what you have to do to have a better future is very important,” says Jason Piper. On April 28th, students came together for a ceremony to receive their certification certificates for completing the class on financial literacy. “They are now ready to better mange their money,” says Rod.