Teacher Online Resource Center
The CFPB has described three developmentally informed components of youth financial capability:
- In early childhood, developing executive function means children build skills in self-control, working memory, and problem solving that can form a strong foundation for future financial decisions.
- In middle childhood, focusing on financial habits and norms can help children absorb healthy rules of thumb and internal guidelines that can serve them in day-to-day financial life.
- In the teen years, building factual knowledge, along with research and analysis skills, helps prepare students to make deliberate financial plans and decisions.
CFPB and FDIC are working together to help young people in America build skills for making financial decisions. We believe financial education has the power to enable children and youth to achieve their own financial goals throughout their lives. Here you will find materials and resources designed for the classroom. To support you, we are also working with community partners and banks to create hands-on programs, including youth savings accounts connected to financial education, for schools and communities.
Why is Financial Education Important for Young People?
As an educator, you can shape young people's financial identities and habits at critical development stages in a way that could last for a lifetime. For example:
- Elementary school-based financial education can improve the students' financial knowledge and attitudes toward saving and financial institutions according to a study commissioned by the US Department of the Treasury.
- Young people who received financial education in high school show notable improvements in how they manage credit later in life compared to other young adults.
- Financial capability efforts may help improve long-term educational outcomes, such as college completion.
Washington University in St. Louis: Small-Dollar Children’s Savings Accounts and College Outcomes - PDF (csd.wustl.edu/Publications/Documents/WP13-05.pdf)
Many teachers agree that financial education is important. In fact, 89 percent of K-12 educators surveyed agree that students should take a financial education course or pass a test for high school graduation.
University of Wisconsin: Study shows need for teacher training in personal finance (news.wisc.edu)
In addition, students who participated in a financial education survey said that financial education was important to them and they wanted to share the knowledge with their families.
Final Report: President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability (www.treasury.gov)
Even young children often enjoy learning about economic and financial concepts.
Washington University in St. Louis: Financial Capability in Children - PDF (csd.wustl.edu)
Many young people transition to adulthood without having developed the financial knowledge, skills, and habits that are critical building blocks for healthy financial futures. When young people lack sound financial skills, they can incur unnecessary debt, miss opportunities to save money, and develop a poor credit history. Feel confident that investing time to teach financial education will position your students for later financial success.
The resources here can help you answer your own questions about financial topics - and share that information with your students.