Knowledge and Insights

Christoper Seiz of The Mercadien Foundation Discusses Financial Literacy

April 2014

Financial Literacy

Since 2004, the U.S. Senate has recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month in an attempt to encourage learning new financial skills, improve personal financial well-being and reduce the stigma attached to talking about personal financial health. Today, April 15, also happens to be when our taxes are due.

April is a time to celebrate and contemplate personal finance, which is still a taboo subject in much of the U.S. Since the economic meltdown of 2008, several states, including New Jersey, have created high school graduation requirements in personal finance or entrepreneurship, with the goal of getting students thinking about money and introducing them to the financial decisions they will ultimately face. New Jersey’s graduation requirement has only been in effect since 2009, so it’s still too early to evaluate its success. Though it’s not only students who need to think about personal finance (the average adult makes about 100 financial decisions every day), but students may benefit most from financial education, as they have their whole lives ahead of them.

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