By Alma Zhumagulova
In the face of the economic crisis there have been many articles, news and TV shows on how to avoid financial problems. People became aware of the many mistakes they made in managing their finances. Everyone knows that it is always better to prevent the problems than to try to correct mistakes when they happen, and it is always better to start as early as possible. Recently, the media has been bombarded with suggestions on how to do that. To recover the economy it is necessary to teach the young generation how to avoid the mistakes of the past generations.
PBS runs a show that teaches young adults some basic financial knowledge such as choosing the appropriate credit cards, avoiding and getting out of debt, insurance and retirement planning, budgeting and saving for long-term financial goals.
Universities and colleges are adding personal finance classes to their class offering. George Washington School of Business has added Personal Finance class to its curriculum that is available to juniors and seniors of all majors. Even some high schools are starting to do that, for example, the Medway High School in Massachusetts. The semester long class covers such topics as credit, stock market, debt, income, spending and saving.
However, children and young adults might think that they don’t need to be concerned about these issues at this stage of their life, it might seem too boring and difficult. To increase their interest and teach finance in an easy and fun way there are financial computer games such as Celebrity Calamity in which the player acts as a financial manager of a celebrity, The Great Piggy Bank Adventure – a game for children of age 8 to 14, Stagecoach Island and Moneytopia. The players of these games can make mistakes and learn by them which would be very costly in the real world.
Even though these means of introducing children and young adults to finance do not guarantee that children and teens will learn and remember all the lessons taught, these means will at least help to increase awareness among this age group about the many financial issues they will face in just a few years.