Over the last twenty years, households in the United States have noticed an increase in debt load and decrease in overall savings and retirement funding. Many of these expenses are related to education for the Millennial generation and longer life expectancy for the Baby Boomer generation. While higher lifetime income levels should offset the increasing costs, many people do not have the personal finance tools necessary to hedge the increasing cost for these expenses. Studies conducted by the Financial Services Review in 2007 determined that personal finance is a topic that affects all career levels in all disciplines. This study is especially relevant in Tennessee as our state has one of the highest average credit card debts at $7,054 per person and the highest per capital bankruptcy filings at 6.59 per 1,000 people. Read more…
This month we celebrate Financial Literacy Month in an effort to bring attention to this important life skill and encourage all Americans to take charge of their financial health. We’re confronted with a variety of financial decisions throughout our lives. Whether saving for retirement, buying a home, financing an education or simply putting away money in an emergency fund, a solid financial education is vital to making smart and responsible decisions.
The importance of consumer sophistication on financial matters has never been more important than it is in today’s economy. Unfortunately, Americans receive a failing grade when it comes to the subject.
By David J. Cowen, Ph.D., President & CEO of the American Museum of Finance; Co-Chair of International Federation of Finance Museums.
When I first heard the term “financial literacy,” I didn’t know what it meant. My background was the trading floor and I incorrectly assumed it was defined as being knowledgeable about the literature of finance. I have never liked the term because in reality what it means is “financial education,” and many outside of our field are simply not familiar with that terminology.
But that is just semantics. The reality is that many Americans are financially illiterate. This epidemic is not just endemic to the United States, but rather is a global problem. Our museum is a member of the International Federation of Finance Museums (IFFM), of which I am co-chair, and we often discuss this core problem with our partners around the globe. We view ourselves – the community of finance museums – as beacons of financial literacy light in what all too often is a sea of darkness. Read more…
By Brian Page, Personal Finance and Economics Teacher; Teacher Advisory Chair for the Council of Economic Education.
Our children should be the compass to guide our education policy decisions.
Personal finance is a topic that provides students with the tools and concepts to live a happier life. We know personal wellness is impacted by financial stress. Financial stress causes…
- sleep deprivation
- strain in personal relationships with friends and spouses
- weight gain and further health problems
- an adverse impact to worker productivity
As all of you know, April is no longer “the cruelest month”; it is now financial literacy month!
All of us at CEE are enthusiastic about our plans to celebrate the progress being made in financial and economic literacy and the chance to involve all of you. The 2014 Survey of the States found that only 17 states require a course including personal finance for high school graduation. Those 17 states represent only about 40% of the U.S. population. That’s a huge gap and we need to close it. We must expand our high school curricula and then provide our teachers with the tools they need to help students develop these essential real-world skills.
Throughout the month of April, we will share the perspectives here of some of our nation’s most important financial, corporate, and political leaders on the need for and importance of financial and economic literacy. Look out for essays from great guest bloggers, such as:
Carolyn Berkowitz, Managing VP of Community Affairs at Capital One and President of Capital One Foundation
Representative Rubén Hinojosa, 15th District of Texas
Jeff Lacker, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and CEE Board Member
David J. Cowen, President & CEO of American Finance Museum and Co-Chair of the International Federation of Finance Museums
Fisher Derderian, Sophomore at The King’s College and CEE Intern
Dan Kadlec, journalist
Brian Page, 2011 Ohio Department of Education Milken National Educator Recipient
Richard Fischer, President & CEO of the Federal Bank of Dallas
Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island
Beth Kobliner, President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans.
Representative Matt Cartwright, 17th District of Pennsylvania
At the end of the month, I will share my thoughts on these experiences. And I hope that you will share some of your experiences with us here.
We know that financial literacy changes the way people see the world and their roles in it. Together, we can make a difference.
Nan J. Morrison
President & CEO
Council for Economic Education
In honor of Financial Literacy Month, CEE asked our nation’s K-12 classroom teachers to share their lesson plans in our contest “What is your most creative idea for implementing personal finance into the classroom?”
We received videos from across the country, and posted them on our Facebook page for our fans to vote for their favorite.
Congratulations to the Popular Vote Winner:
Teacher: Bobby Letter
School: Peak to Peak High School, Lafayette, CO
Congratulations to the CEE’s Choice Winner:
Teacher: Greg Cox
School: Ellis Elementary, Logan, UT
Both winners will receive a $1,000 gift card from American Express and a complimentary registration to our 52nd Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference.
Thanks to all of the teachers who created videos, entered the contest and supported each other by voting. You can get inspiration for your own classroom by viewing all of the video submissions here.