Financial education reportedly helped people manage their money during Covid

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Giani Clarke, 18, a senior at Wilson High School, takes a test in his AP Statistics class. Offices are doubled to provide more social distancing.

Ben Hasty | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

People are wishing to know more about money in school – especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Almost half of the respondents said that having more financial literacy education would have helped them better manage their money thanks to the Covid epidemic, according to a study by DA Davidson. The study was conducted online and interviewed 1,047 American adults from March 29 to 30.

Respondents generally rated themselves low on their own financial literacy – 36% of people rated themselves as “C” for financial literacy, while 34% rated “B”. Only 16% said they would deserve an “A”.

“I was amazed at how honestly these people were being honest about this knowledge gap,” said Andrew Crowell, vice president of wealth management and financial advisor at DA Davidson. “It was a reality before the pandemic, but we believe that the pandemic and the financial strains and pressures it has placed on households amplified it in the minds of many people.”

Covid Confusion

The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on personal finances. For many, that comes with hardship – millions of people lost their jobs or suffered pay cuts at the start of the epidemic.

On the flip side, many got a break in student debt payments, and millions of Americans have now received three economic impact payments that have been used to boost savings, pay off debt, and more. .

Yet even those who have not been financially criticized by the pandemic may not know how to best manage their money to use the stimulus payments and prepare for the future.

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Young adults believe their financial education at school is particularly lacking, according to the survey. More than 70% of Gen Z respondents said better financial literacy would have helped them manage their finances better amid the coronavirus pandemic, compared to 47% of all respondents.

In addition, 30% of Gen Z said the financial topic they understood the least was debt management, lagging behind on investments, insurance policies and hedging, and making money. ‘a financial plan.

“It’s terrible that financial literacy has been left out of the curriculum in school,” Crowell said. “We are just sending our children out into the world unprepared.”

Currently, only 21 states require high school students to take a personal finance course, and for many it is part of another class. In 24 states, high schools are required to offer personal finance training, but students are not required to take it.

This does not correspond to popular opinion, according to the study. Almost 90% of respondents said that personal financial education should be part of kindergarten to grade 12 educationn, and 45% said children should start learning money management between the ages of 11 and 15.

Meanwhile, 7% said children under 5 should learn personal finance, and more than a quarter of respondents said financial education should start between 6 and 10 years old.

Capacity and capacity

The coronavirus pandemic has also changed some aspects of teaching personal finance in schools, and it also means that there are many resources and online courses that students can take to improve their knowledge.

One is Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit that curates the best content on the internet to help educators find resources to improve both financial literacy and skills, according to Yanely Espinal, its director of the Internet. educational awareness.

The capacity piece is important, according to Espinal. “Studies show that at the end of the day, if your behavior doesn’t change, what’s the point of reading a million articles?” she said.

This includes adapting education to the age of students and helping them learn to ask the right questions in situations that involve money, such as opening a bank account in person or online or buying a first car.

Espinal also said that part of the battle is getting students to talk to their parents at home about what they are learning in school, including financial education. Involving children in small, age-appropriate activities that show how money works can be very helpful and as simple as having your child join you in creating a grocery list, budgeting, and shopping. .

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