By Katie Jimenez, a junior at West Albany High School
I don’t want to have to rely on my parents to get me through life. As soon as I graduate college, I want to know how to be a financially responsible adult. Financial education is my best chance at independence.
Financial education covers a lot of topics, including saving for college, budgeting and spending, and credit and debit cards. I’m interested in these topics because they relate to my life at the moment: I’m picking out colleges and trying to figure out how to pay for them, and I want to know how I can use my credit scores to help with student loans.
Teens need to learn the importance of financial independence as they begin to start their adult lives after high school, whether it’s going to college or getting a job. Here’s how to get students like me to pay attention:
Relate topics to the students’ lives. I don’t need to learn about home ownership, family spending, or planning for retirement when I haven’t even graduated high school yet. Are these topics important? Absolutely. But these topics aren’t crucial for teenagers while they are still in high school.
Make the topics easy to understand for students. I’m a visual learner. If a bank tried to get me to read an article about the difference between credit and debit cards, I’d get nothing out of it but a headache. Hands-on activities or visual aids make an impact on teens trying to understand the concepts of financial education.
Financial education is important to teens who wish to live independently. Though not all financial topics are relevant to our lives at the moment, we want to learn the basic concepts of financial literacy. We want easy-to-understand lessons about money that we’ll use for the rest of our lives.
Financial independence brings lots of exciting opportunities as well as a host of responsibilities. As you embark on your journey through USC and beyond, all of us here at USC Credit Union want you to know we are here to help you establish sound financial habits and give you useful tools and services so managing your money is a positive experience, not a chore. As a newly minted USC Trojan, it’s time to open an account best suited to your current and future financial needs—and that starts here at USCCU.
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