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Andy Leapaldt, Published January 02 2010

Youths must learn about finance

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (originally was property) is the bedrock of this country; private property is a vehicle that allows one to secure his/her future. Need a loan to purchase your own house, you need to have a sizable down payment and good credit. Want to retire, you need financial discipline and solid investment practices. Need to provide for your family, you will need financial discipline and be able to differentiate between need and want. Need a loan to branch out and tap into your entrepreneurial spirit, you need to have a sizable down payment and good credit.

I think you get the point. If one’s future, and this country’s collectively, is partly based upon fiscal responsibility and a solid understanding of the credit system, then why isn’t personal finance a part of the curriculum in K-12?

I value math, science, English, history, civics, physical education, etc. … but this is a huge gap in our educational system.

The younger generations of today are dangerously too comfortable with credit cards and minimum payments, no-money-down or interest-only mortgages and out-of-line debt-to-asset ratios. This is a major problem and can be combated with education.

I believe, maybe naively, in individuals’ ability to make sound decisions when properly educated and informed. When we start taking personal finance seriously and teaching it within K-12, more of society will be able to achieve and sustain the American dream, of various degrees, of course.