Get That Kid A Bank Account

Dated: 12/01/2016

Views: 45

"Kids these days."

Older folks tend to like being around younger people, but also like to characterize whole generations as having missed out on something precious. Allow me to join the bandwagon. I agree that the youth of today are missing out. Though, I wouldn't agree that it's a new thing or that it's their fault.

I graduated high school in 1989 with good grades and a bright future. I could write a killer essay, but I didn't know what interest rates on credit cards really meant, that I needed to file taxes, or that it was time to think about retirement. My credit score mattered as much to me as my cholesterol level. Financial and practical matters were a mystery to me and to most of my friends. My own kids and their friends express a similar sense of ineptitude when it comes to money. 

Teachers and schools are obviously providing a lot of information and support, but it's pretty hard to find really great programs in schools for practical life skills - financial or otherwise. With so many new avenues opened by the computer age, it's ever harder to make a list of, "basic skills." Just about any skill gets turned into an elective. Financial Health isn't a class a lot of kids are clamoring for, but not knowing about money could make the rest of their lives a struggle. It's especially important for kids who aren't raised around much money to learn the language and culture of money. Maybe field trips to banks should be more common. Couldn't PBS have their cartoons sing about the dangers of credit cards and the benefits of a retirement account begun early?

Obviously, I don't have a solution, but I suspect it involves involvement. We need to get kids deep into our financial and practical business! Let's have them sit beside us and show them how our bank account balance decreases as we pay bills - show them how sometimes you pay $100, but only $80 comes off what you owe. Look up what credit scores mean and what you can and can't do because of them. If you're terrible with money, learn together - the internet is your oyster! 

Meanwhile, if you need help traversing the stormy seas of home buying in Austin, Texas, please allow me to clear the way for you!

Kate Ward 

Team Price Real Estate


[email protected]


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