“You can’t force people to be smart with their money. But education might help. We teach children how to read and write from a young age, but not about the basics of handling money. Teens must meet rigorous standards to acquire a drivers licence, but receive no formal instruction on dealing with credit come-ons that arrive in the mail. Most people are left to figure it out for themselves, or get by on the example of parents who may be struggling with debt. Money is a basic element in a capitalist society. We should try to teach people to deal with it responsibly — or at least to know what that means. It might very well be the best way to keep future governments from meddling further in our financial lives.”
From: Our credit card problem – National Post – May 23, 2009
Re: Our Credit Card Problem, editorial, May 23.
“When I was teaching high school some years ago, one of the most well-received series of topics was on personal finance, which was part of an optional business course I taught. The topics ranged from mortgages, credit card interest, finance companies, department store credit cards, investing, car loans and the value of buying versus leasing cars. Interest was always extremely high among students when we dealt with these topics — so much so that students who had a free period would ask to sit in on these classes, as they had heard their friends talking about the topics.
Most students, unfortunately, are not exposed to personal finance topics. What I learned when I taught these topics is that there was immense interest among the students to learn about something that would play a major part in the rest of their lives. Topics that are such an integral part of our lives shouldn’t be optional but rather compulsory learning. This would go a long way in reducing the tremendous financial illiteracy that exists today.
Jeff Spooner, Kinburn, Ont.”