Essential Money Lessons
Education Finance

5 Essential Money Lessons That Should Be Taught In School

January 10, 2024

Most high school graduates are ill-equipped to differentiate between bonds and stocks. Despite learning many other important facts and knowledge in many subjects, pupils still struggle to fill out their tax forms.

Financial Education is, unfortunately, not provided in most high schools. Therefore, most students graduate and go into the workforce ignorant about money. Not even the most basic ideas, like budgeting, get addressed in school.

So, this article will share some essential knowledge to help students and those who want to teach the younger generation the importance of money.

1. A Solid Budgeting Framework

If you want to have a handle on your finances and put some money aside for the future, making a budget is a must. This practice is quite important when starting with your financial situation.

Making sure you can keep to your budget is the most important part of creating one, even though there are many different approaches.

If you want to save money and achieve your financial objectives, you need a budget that fits in with your way of life. To begin creating a budget, it is recommended that you first determine your monthly income and then your monthly expenses. Expenses like rent or mortgage, utilities, car insurance, and the like are examples of fixed monthly outlays.

Also, include your variable costs, which are harder to forecast. Then, divide your income realistically among your expenses and monitor your success.

2. Developing Reputable Credit

A good-to-excellent credit score is within reach if you demonstrate responsible credit utilization during your younger years. If this happens, better mortgage rates, reduced interest on loans and credit cards, and other financial advantages can be yours. 

Being prudent with credit cards is simply one part of building credit. Therefore, what early steps can you take to establish good credit? 

  • Through regular and punctual payment of all debts, including loans, credit card balances, and other types of debt
  • Using various credit products (charge cards, student loans, phone bills, etc.)
  • The earlier you start building a credit history, the better your score will be.
  • Do not apply for multiple lines of credit simultaneously; doing so may raise red flags with credit bureaus.

3. Impact & Risks Of Debt

Debt is bad for your wallet but may also harm your emotional and relational well-being, leading to financial worries and stress.

By postponing the payment’s impact, debt can help you enjoy spending more quickly, leading you to discount the item’s actual worth.

A person’s ability to get loans, mortgages, and credit cards, all of which can contribute to a never-ending cycle of debt, can be negatively impacted by long-term debt. The accumulation of interest charges on debt makes it more costly to be indebted and prevents you from reaching your financial objectives.

4. Think About Paying Yourself First

Before you pay your bills or spend money, you should pay yourself first. This practice will give you more time to accumulate wealth. It simplifies saving for retirement or other future needs by automatically deducting a certain amount from each paycheck.

If you want to modify your mindset about money and build a decent emergency fund, the pay-yourself-first approach is a good place to start.

Rather than letting money dictate your every move, this strategy teaches you to see it as a tool to help you live the life you envision for yourself. 

Your income will be disbursed to you first. The next step is to replenish your savings accounts, such as IRAs, 401(k)s, and emergency reserves. Next, save as much of your income tax as possible; a good rule of thumb is putting aside 30%.

This percentage may seem excessive, but it’s better than having nothing left over when tax time rolls around, isn’t it? You will then have the “spending money” after transferring your monthly living expenditures.

5. Understanding Compound Interest

Compound interest allows you to earn on both the principal and non-withdrawn interest, while simple interest allows you to earn on the principal.

For instance, you deposit $1,000 into a savings account that offers 5% compound interest each year. Your account balance will be $1,050 after a year. You can earn 5% on the newly accrued $1,050 if you refrain from withdrawing the $50 interest. Your account will have grown to $1,102.50 after two years. 

In some situations, choosing a compound account with lower interest rates could be more beneficial than a simple account with greater rates. The reason is that compounding is always more effective in the long run.

Learn The Value Of Financial Freedom As Early As Now

You can still understand the value of money even if some of the lessons above were never taught to you in your formal education. Learning about personal finance and making an effort to improve it is an admirable goal regardless of age.

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