Financial Literacy is Critical Skill for Youth

By Kerry Martin

Financial author, radio host and speaker Dave Ramsey says “Building a new future with money is a lot like building a home. You don’t add the roof until you’ve finished framing, and you don’t frame until the foundation is secure.”

As a parent, I see the importance of building a strong foundation of financial literacy in my children. There are a few important tenets of our family’s financial plan: knowing the difference between needs and wants, understanding and using a budget, and saving and giving first. My husband and I are not waiting to teach our kids the why and how behind those tenets. Helping our children understand the world of money will help ensure a prosperous future for generations to come.

There are a number of resources online to start teaching your kids financial literacy. To start, do a quick Google search of “kids finances.” Northwestern Mutual’s has activities for kids, tips for teenagers, resources for parents and ideas for teachers.

U.S. News and World Report published a June 2015 article “7 Apps to Teach Your Kids Personal Finance Skills“. All the apps listed in the article incorporate financial literacy in fun game formats.

Forbes’ “The 5 Most Important Money Lessons to Teach Your Kids” and’s “Teaching Kids About Money: An Age-by-Age Guide” breaks down top lessons with activities for kids as young as 2 and as old as 18.

At Youth Resources, I see high school students on a daily basis. Many of them have jobs, pay some or all of their own bills and are preparing for college. As they enter junior and senior years, they’re very concerned about how to pay for school, how to pay bills during school and how to set themselves up for financial success post-grad. Those questions and the rising cost of post-secondary education can be overwhelming for these students and can persuade them to turn down great opportunities because they’re afraid or don’t have a full understanding of the cost.

It’s our job as adults to make sure those fears and stresses are put into perspective with sound financial information, starting as early as possible. Resources abound for parents and adult who care about youth. Start learning so you can start teaching!

Kerry Martin is the Office Coordinator at Youth Resources.