This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Teaching Kids About Money

Most people who learn about proper money management as an adult learn the hard way. A common thread in stories about personal financial recovery is a journey to “rock-bottom.” Often, a financial crisis is necessary to motivate people to change behavior and learn to be responsible for their financial condition and their path towards improvement. This type of trigger seems to be built into human psychology.

Many recovering drug addicts, for example, didn't admit they had a problem until their life was so unlivable that they had no choice. The stakes when dealing with financial problems are usually not as high, but the concept is similar, and is repeated all the time.

Learning from one's own mistakes is the most effective method of education, but the problem is that is requires someone to unnecessarily experience the worst of what life has to offer. Often, these rock-bottom situations could have been avoided, sometimes easily. The cost of losing a house is a high price to pay for learning to evaluate what you can afford before buying, being skeptical of mortgage salespeople, and preparing for economic emergencies.

A healthy relationship with money during formative years can help increase the chances of making sound financial decisions as an adult, avoiding the most damaging situations. I'll freely admit that like many others, I entered the adult world - after college, job in hand - without knowing much about managing not only money but other responsibilities like maintaining a car. I worked for a distant non-profit organization, spent hours a day commuting, and almost all the money I earned after taxes was required just for my living expenses. My debt increased, and when I was asked to resign, I was living in a bad situation and had no money. I learned some lessons pretty quickly after that.

I seriously doubt having a course in high school dedicated to financial literacy, even if it had been required, would have changed my situation. I was, for the most part, enrolled in advanced courses in high school, geared towards going to college and earning college credits while in high school, with the intent of studying music education.

A macroeconomics course would have been more suited for my curriculum than basic personal finance, but I consider myself anecdotal proof that one can have advanced mathematics skills at the same time one doesn't stop the tide of debt until its terrors manifest in the physical world. That is despite the concept of debt's root in basic arithmetic: if you spend more than you have, your financial condition will worsen and you'll never achieve any level of freedom.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,776.43 +304.06 1.85%
S&P 500 1,987.05 +35.69 1.83%
NASDAQ 4,781.2640 +73.4890 1.56%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs