Free program teaches NJ kids how to balance their check book
When you graduated high school, did you have any idea how to balance a checkbook? Did you know how to obtain your credit score, or why that score mattered? Or how about a way to start saving for retirement?
It's not too late for your school-aged children to be more prepared than you ever were.
A free program, aiming to craft a future generation of financially literate adults, has already reached tens of thousands of students in New Jersey. The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation, the group behind the program, hopes to get as many students as possible on board — either through the schools or through you, the parent.
"We start at the junior high-middle school age," said Tim Stanley, board chair for the foundation. "We think that's a good time to really get them understanding what it means to budget, what it means to earn income, what it means to have taxes taken out of your income, what it means to manage a checking account, and so forth."
MoneySKILL currently offers learning on 37 different topics surrounding the fundamentals of money, all at no charge.
"It's part of this foundation's goal to educate every American we can, one community, one school, one student at a time," Stanley said.
Over 10 years, the program's racked up more than 850,000 users nationwide, including 38,824 students in New Jersey.
The program's been utilized through school's in 15 New Jersey counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic and Somerset.
"We do have a financial literacy problem in this country," Stanley said.
A study of more than 27,000 Americans in late 2016 found that nearly two-thirds of adults couldn't pass a basic financial literacy test.