Financial Readiness Among School-Aged Children and Young Adults
NAR has a history of supporting efforts to educate the public about the importance of making sound financial decisions to prepare for and to sustain homeownership. Growing research shows the importance of beginning financial education at an early age. As stated in the National Strategy for Financial Literacy, young people who develop the fundamentals of financial capability are more likely to become financially secure adults. The report further states that there are developmental “windows of opportunity” during childhood and adolescence where youth are readily capable of learning financial skills and behavior.
NAR supports the goals outlined in Promoting Financial Success in the United States: National Strategy for Financial Literacy, which are designed to increase financial literacy to empower school-aged children and young adults to build financial knowledge, skills, and habits that will help them make sound financial decisions and prepare them for homeownership in the future. Further, NAR encourages associations to work with providers of financial education along with partners such as schools and community organizations to support evidence-based and age appropriate activities. The following resources will assist with your efforts.*
Review the National Strategy for Financial Literacy
Hold a financial education fair or reality fair
Explore resources and tools from agencies and organizations
Read blog posts by the NAR Research team
Review research and reports about financial literacy
REALTOR® Success Stories
Promoting Financial Success in the United States: National Strategy for Financial Literacy outlines goals established by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC) for the various sectors seeking to increase financial literacy and improve individual financial well-being. FLEC is comprised of 23 federal government entities and plays a central role in the federal government’s efforts to enhance financial literacy, financial capability, and individual financial well-being. The Strategy was created in 2011 and updated in 2016. The Strategy does not support or recommend any particular policy solution. Rather the Strategy outlines broad goals – some best suited for government, others for the private sector or collaborations. The goals include:
- Increased awareness of and access to effective financial education.
- Determine and integrate core financial competencies.
- Improve financial education infrastructure.
A financial education fair (or “reality” fair) is a fun, interactive simulation of saving, spending, and budgeting based on career choices and lifestyle decisions. While examples may vary, these events typically give student participants an opportunity to make a variety of financial decisions (ranging from where to live and how much to save for retirement to buying a television or owning a pet) based on their available budget.
An online search for financial education fair or reality fair will return numerous examples and toolkits that you can use as a guide for holding a fair in your area. Examples include:
- The Youth Financial Education Fair Tool Kit from the Office of the Massachusetts State Treasurer
- The National Credit Union Foundation (Toolkits from Montana and Connecticut)
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Youth Financial Education Resources
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides tools and resources to support K-12 financial education.
MyMoney.gov contains financial education resources for young people, caregivers, and educators.
FDIC – Teacher Online Resource Center
Teacher Online Resource Center offers teachers complementary resources from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bureau to help teach children from pre-K through age 20 about money and other financial topics.
Youth.gov provides interactive tools and other resources to help youth-serving organizations and community partnerships plan, implement, and participate in effective programs that promote Positive Youth Development (PYD).
Jump$tart – Financial Smarts for Students
Jump$tart is a coalition of diverse financial education stakeholders. These organizations work together to educate and prepare our nation’s youth for life-long financial success.
Operation Hope’s focus is ﬁnancial dignity and inclusion. They equip young people and adults with the ﬁnancial tools and education to secure a better future—coaching them through their personal aspirations and life’s challenges, and facilitating their journey to ﬁnancial independence.
Junior Achievement’s volunteer-delivered K-12 programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills, and use experimental learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential.
Council for Economic Education
The Council for Economic Education (CEE) is the leading non-profit organization in the United States that focuses on personal finance and economic education for students K-12. By providing kids with the knowledge and vocabulary of money, we give them the essential tools to create financial stability and opportunity for themselves, their families and their communities.
Biz Kid$ is a national financial education initiative based on an Emmy Award-winning public television series about kids, money, and business. The series includes 65 episodes and reaches on million viewers per episode. Using a clever blend of entertainment and education, each Biz Kid$ episode shows kids how to make and manage money by introducing concepts of financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
The Stock Market Game™
The SIFMA Foundation’s acclaimed The Stock Market Game™ program is an online simulation of the global capital markets that engages students grades 4-12 in the world of economics, investing and personal finance, and prepares them for financially independent futures. More than 600,000 students take part every school year across all 50 states. The Stock Market Game has reached 17 million students since its inception in 1977.
The FoolProof Foundation has developed a consumer life skills curriculum to help teachers and mentors instill habits in children, which may counter some of the marketing industry’s efforts. The FoolProof curriculum goes beyond traditional financial literacy. It immerses students in the importance of developing three core habits: healthy skepticism; trustworthiness; and personal responsibility.
The Financial Empowerment Toolkit for Youth and Young Adults in Foster Care
The Financial Empowerment Toolkit for Youth and Young Adults in Foster Care, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children, Youth and Families and the Office of Community Services, is designed to provide caseworkers, Independent-Living skills providers, foster parents and other supportive adults with strategies and resources to critically evaluate and improve their ability to promote the financial capabilities of youth in foster care.
Survey of the States – The State of K-12 Economic and Financial Education in the U.S.
Every two years, the Council for Economic Education (CEE) conducts a comprehensive look into the state of K-12 economic and financial education in the United States, collecting data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Brookings Institute – Are States Providing Adequate Financial Literacy Education
Do you have a story to share about your association’s efforts to increase financial literacy among young adults? Contact Wendy Penn at 202-383-7504.
* The content on this page provides general information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.