The latest National Standards for Personal Financial Education are here! Read the new standards here.

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Are Today’s Teens at Risk of Becoming Tomorrow’s “Basement Generation?”

Jack KosakowskiBy Jack E. Kosakowski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Junior Achievement USA.

In the next couple of months, millions of American teens will be graduating from high school. There was a time when this meant many kids would go off to college, get a degree and start a career. But in recent years, for a variety of reasons, including a sluggish economy and the growing skills gap in the American workforce, many kids are heading back home to live in mom and dad’s basement after receiving that college degree. A reality reinforced by recent assessments of Census data by Pew Research Center showing that more than one-in-four adults between the ages of 25 and 34 had moved back with their parents at one time or another during the “Great Recession.” Read more…

POSTED: April 26, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

Seven Things Every College Student Should Know About Personal Finance

Christian AckmannBy Christian Ackmann, Economics concentrator at Brown University; Winner of the 2012 National Personal Finance Challenge.

You would be surprised to know the number of college students who don’t know how build their credit history, view their account balances, or even write a check.  College is usually the first time that students acquire independence, yet some students remain dependent on their parents’ financial support and advice.  Proper financial education in high school is necessary to gain financial independence in college.  During my first year of college, I have seen many financial mistakes made by my fellow students.  Here are some of the things I believe every college student should know about personal finance to make intelligent financial decisions.

1.  Credit
When I asked my fellow classmates which financial topics they wished they knew more about, the unanimous answer was credit.  For many college students, credit cards are a thing of mystery.  They are magical pieces of plastic that somehow pay for pizza and gasoline using money from their parents.  The first step to establishing a solid credit history is understanding how credit works.  Once students understand the importance of credit, it can be very helpful to have a credit card in the student’s name (not the parent’s name) to encourage responsibility.  Paying the credit card bill in full each month is an easy way to build a good credit history, not to mention the perks that many cards offer, such as cash back or air miles (which are especially applicable to college students living away from home). Read more…

POSTED: April 20, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Financial Literacy Month aimed at raising awareness to manage funds

Cory WilsonBy Cory T. Wilson, Chair-elect, Mississippi Council on Economic Education; Attorney, Heidelberg Steinberger Colmer & Burrow.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant has issued a proclamation designating April as Financial Literacy Month.

Chances are, I realize, the designation is probably not on your smart phone calendar, and it may not be the theme of many spring parties. But it merits attention and not just in April.

As millions of Americans endured the drudgery of filing their tax returns April 15, a few thoughts on financial literacy are in order. Of course, it takes more than a Master’s degree in finance to understand our byzantine tax code, so leave that to the accountants and the tax software folks for the moment. Financial Literacy Month is aimed at raising awareness of a problem more basic and epidemic. Read more…

POSTED: April 17, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , ,

5 Questions for Carmen Wong Ulrich – Women and Finance

CWongUlrichCarmen Wong Ulrich is President and Co-Founder of ALTA Wealth Management and Assistant Industry Professor in the department of Finance and Risk Engineering at NYU Polytech. She is the former co-creator and host of the only national, daily personal finance television show, “On the Money,” on CNBC.

5 questions for Carmen Wong Ulrich on Women and Finance

CEE: Working women are surpassing men as the primary decision makers of a family. How can financial literacy education for women keep up with the pace of this trend?

CWU: It’s a tough pace to keep up with and getting tougher, but, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done!  It’s wise to not only know the in’s and out’s of the financial products you use and have (such as credit cards, student loans, insurance, etc.) but to know how they work, how to maximize their benefits (i.e., reducing fees), and how they fit into your life.  We’ve been handed down a lot of ‘advice’ regarding money management by generations that lived in a very different time, financially.  Pensions existed, homes seemed to only increase in value and mortgage rates were in the teens.  That’s not our world.  Keep pace by making it a habit to have financial education in your life, regularly.  For example, follow one or two blogs that offer information and education.  Look up any new terms.  Read the personal finance sections of your favorite papers.  Never stop learning and asking questions. Read more…

POSTED: April 17, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , ,

The Cost of Financial Illiteracy

Barbara ONeillBy Barbara O’Neill, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management, Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

The phrase “financial illiteracy” describes the widespread inability of many Americans to understand key financial concepts and manage their personal finances wisely. It is costly to both individuals and society. The total price tag can be tallied in many ways: Forgone savings and investment opportunities, lives shattered by financial loss or bankruptcy, higher prices than necessary paid for goods and services, dreams and aspirations that go unfulfilled, and marital discord about money. The collective loss in dollars resulting from common financial errors just has to be tremendous. Read more…

POSTED: April 12, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , ,

Financial Literacy: Preparing for Independence

By Max Isenberg, student at the University of Pennsylvania.

Education comes in all sorts of forms. In college, your main duty is to learn, be it in the classroom, through extra-curricular activities, or while hanging out with your friends. As a student, however, I have noticed things I never realized I needed to know. Living independently involves a lot of learning on the fly about what your parents once handled for you. Laundry, for example, was this nebulous process in which my mom turned my dirty, worn clothes into fresh clean ones; only when I had to run my first load in my dorm could I appreciate the nuances of the task. Read more…

POSTED: April 5, 2013 | BY: admin | TAGS: , , , , , , ,