The title of this blog post suggests that young people today are severely lacking in money management skills. While that is certainly the case with a large group of youngsters, the problem is perhaps no more prevalent in 2018 than it has been in decades past.

When it comes to CPAs dedicating time to volunteering, the accounting profession comes out smelling like a rose, doing a lot for a lot of people. I’ve often thought that I would like to spend some volunteering time going into grade schools and middle schools teaching a “Money Management 101” type of session. I know that several CPAs in my circle around the United States have echoed the same thing. However, it appears that most school systems are against the idea for various reasons. Maybe that’s just been the experience that my cronies and I have been dealt, maybe not.

No one will argue the point that by teaching children to save money when they’re young it can help them deal with the financial necessities of life when they’re older. Thinking back to when I was in grade school in a small rural Indiana town, the only time a class delved into any subject matter like this it was my high school accounting class. No surprise, huh? I recall Mr. Steve Howell (who was also the golf coach and had a year-round crazy unhealthy tan) teaching us how to keep a checkbook. Sadly, even in a better school system than what I experienced as a youth, neither of my two children were taught anything remotely approaching the hemisphere of money management during their public-school years.

Think of what a difference it would make in the lives of people if kids all over the country were taught these fundamentals below in school!

*Proper use of a checking account
*Balancing treats and sacrifices — how to budget and save
*The dangers of too much credit, not the right kind of credit, the core pitfalls of credit
*Being prepared with emergency funds

It’s no wonder that so many people are in over their heads. What’s the financially uneducated kid to do when assaulted with the onslaught of available credit? Some basics taught by CPAs — or just halfway intelligent business people — in schools would prepare so many children, truly making a difference in our society.

The MACPA has resources geared toward improving financial literacy. MACPA members partner with the public to educate young people about financial literacy through our partnership with Junior Achievement of Central Maryland. By participating in volunteer speaking initiatives and sharing our expertise, we help bring greater awareness about money, financial responsibility, job readiness, and entrepreneurism to those who will lead the future of our economy.

The earlier that young people learn to manage a budget, the easier things will be down the line for them. As with other facets in life, children need positive examples and encouragement. What better business and financially-responsible role model is there than a CPA!?!

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“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”–Will Smith

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