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    The Importance of Financial Literacy

    importance of financial literacy

    In high school, one of the most useful classes I took was Personal Financial Planning.

    An online, single semester course, PFP was an engaging class that covered a lot of important and relevant material. From learning conceptual information using EVERFI’s financial literacy modules to participating in an online stock market simulation with my classmates, I liked that my teacher used multiple learning tools to help students understand the content.

    I thought my personal finance class was fairly straightforward, and it took a few hours each week to complete the assignments and assessments. The class was well-organized, interesting, and very applicable and useful for my life. Many of my peers who have taken a personal finance class in a traditional classroom setting or online (like me) have also had a positive experience, and they tell me that they definitely felt that the class was worthwhile.

    Personal finance is important and useful

    I feel that in high school, certain courses that students take aren’t as easily applicable to daily life. For example, calculus isn’t something most individuals in the real-world use on a day-to-day basis. However, personal finance is definitely important. Through this class, I learned many useful skills, including how to create a budget, the basics of filing taxes, how to deal with student debt, and even what factors to consider when buying my own vehicle someday. As myself and many other students my age go off to college or other post-secondary opportunities soon, these skills will become more and more useful. I think all high schoolers need to be taught personal finance in some sort of school setting because these are real-life skills that will come in handy in the future. Nowadays, many young people make unwise financial decisions and have to deal with the consequences—sometimes for the rest of their lives. Many times, this happens simply because they didn’t fully understand what they were getting themselves into. Having an understanding (even if it’s just a very simple, basic understanding) of financial concepts and ideas before graduating high school would be so helpful and beneficial for success in the real world.

    Schools are starting to make personal finance a requirement

    Although taking a personal finance class wasn’t a graduation requirement for me personally, my high school very recently made it a requirement for students beginning next year. This isn’t a change just in my high school; in fact, many high schools across the nation are requiring students to take a personal finance classes, and the U.S. Treasury has recently called for mandatory financial literacy courses for college students because of concerns regarding student debt. It’s really no wonder that such high significance has been given to financial education for high school and college students in recent years; currently, U.S. student debt is at a record high of more than $1.5 trillion. There has been a lot of concern that students and families are taking on debt without realizing the long-term impact it could have.

    Thinking about college

    With college tuition and related expenses currently at exceptionally high rates (and only rising year-to-year), it is important for families to really consider their finances and think through the implications of debt before making college and other educational decisions. Having a good understanding of debt and its effects will only make it easier for students to have productive conversations with their families about important topics like this, and it may allow students to view a situation from multiple perspectives and make an educated decision with their family that takes multiple factors, including prestige, finances, resources available, etc, into consideration.

    When making a college decision a few months ago, I had a lot to consider, and I think having a good understanding of personal finance really helped me see my options from multiple perspectives. I was able to think beyond just the next four years and really consider how I wanted my life to look in the long-run.

    Personal finance was a high-impact class that was both simple and interesting. Even if your high school doesn’t require students to take it, I still recommend that you take the class if it is offered to you. If you are not able to take personal finance as a class through your school, I would encourage you to look into online options such as EVERFI and just go through the modules during your free time. These courses are usually very easy to understand and don’t require very much time or effort. I was able to get a better understanding of many important financial concepts and topics, and I definitely think I am better prepared for college and life in general because I took a personal finance class.

  • Articles

    Vote November 6! Your Voice Matters

    Lady Liberty

    Vote November 6! Your Voice Matters

    by Maya Kitchens

    Ready to Vote, November 6th (Midterm Election Day)

    As the midterm elections near, it is important to make sure to get out and vote! As Americans, we have the privilege to be able to vote at the age of 18, and studies have proven that many young adults do not vote. Voting in this midterm election is crucial, and it could change the direction in which the country runs. Become educated on who the candidates are. Go phone banking as I have with my mother to spread the word to others to vote for the candidates. If you are 18 or older, make sure you are registered to vote so you can exercise the privilege given to you. Do not show up to the polls and just guess and pick a candidate, really read into the political views of these candidates. Every vote counts! The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

    Here is a list of the candidates for the state of Alabama: (taken from AL.com)

    Congressional:

    District 1 – Democrat Robert Kennedy vs. Republican Bradley Byrne

    District 2 – Democrat Tabitha Isner vs. Republican Martha Roby

    District 3 – Democrat Mallory Hagan vs. Republican Mike Rogers

    District 4 – Democrat Lee Auman vs. Republican Robert Aderholt

    District 5 – Democrat Peter Joffrion vs. Republican Mo Brooks

    District 6 – Democrat Danner Kline vs. Republican Gary Palmer

    District 7 –  Democrat Terri Sewell, no Republican candidate qualified for the office

    Governor:

    Kay Ivey (R) vs. Walt Maddox (D)

    Other Statewide Races:

    Lt. Gov. – Democrat Will Boyd vs. Republican Will Ainsworth

    Attorney General – Democrat Joseph Siegelman vs. Republican Steve Marshall

    State Supreme Court Chief Justice – Democrat Bob Vance Jr. vs.  Republican Tom Parker

    Secretary of State – Democrat Heather Milam vs. Republican John Merrill

    State Treasurer – No Democratic candidate is on the ballot. The Republican candidate is John McMillan.

    State Auditor – Democrat Miranda Karrine Joseph vs. Republican Jim Zeigler

    Agriculture Commissioner – No Democratic candidate is on the ballot. The Republican candidate is Rick Pate.

    Want to know where to vote in your state? Visit Rock the Vote for great resources on how to register, where to vote, and more!  https://www.rockthevote.org/voting-information/