How to Talk to Your Kids About Personal Finance, Saving and Paying for College

Personal finance isn’t being taught in schools. A survey of K-12 teachers from the National Endowment for Financial Education showed less than one-third are teaching the subject in schools and under 20 percent feel able enough to teach personal finance. ‘It’s something we’ve really let slip,’ said Ted Beck, the organization’s president and CEO. ‘If you look back at textbooks from 1900, financial education used to be embedded in every math and arithmetic book you can find and we kind of got away from that.’ That puts the burden on parents to fill the gap and teach kids about money. ‘When we see very positive behavior by young adults, the number one factor is parental involvement early on,’ Beck said. ‘So talk to your kids about money.’ Beck thinks schools and parents have a responsibility to teach kids about money. ‘The parents start it and the schools reinforce it,’ he said. But money can be an uncomfortable subject that causes anxiety between spouses, let alone between parents and kids. Beck suggests finding teachable money moments, such as showing your kids a credit card statement, opening a youth bank account and revealing what financial mistakes you’ve made as a parent. TheStreet’s Scott Gamm reports from New York.

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