Ga. teens will soon have to learn how to manage their money

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 6:47 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Anybody can make money, but when it comes to managing dollars and cents, most of us need a hand.

For years, it’s been up to families to teach teens the ins and outs of finances.

A new Georgia law is changing that. It will require some high school students to pass financial literacy courses. Here’s how it will help Georgia students.

It will teach students the importance of a budget and use the tools they need before they leave the nest. Many parents say this should have gone into effect a long time ago.

“Another big aspect of it is teaching the kids about credit and how it impacts the ability or inability to purchase certain things or what not throughout their lives,” said Jobe Sullivan, parent.

Starting in the 2024-2025 school year, 11th and 12th-grade students will be required to take a financial literacy class before they graduate.

Parents say this class is needed to teach youth how to properly handle money, something Sullivan says she wishes she had done.

“We’ve got a huge poverty rate right now. I think a lot of that is due to not being educated and not being educated specifically on how to manage personal finances,” she said.

According to the non-nonprofit Next Gen Personal Finance, Georgia is the 13th state to require this mandate.

Students will learn how to properly handle money, the importance of student loans, and more.

“It goes beyond just balancing that out and that the number at the end of the week or at the end of the month is in the green and not the red,” said Sullivan.

Financial Wealthy Advisor Will Rogers says taking the class is one thing but learning how to use the tools is completely different.

“Taking a class where everything is abstract is not nearly as powerful as taking a class and giving that person some of the tools they just learned about,” he said.

He says the reason finances can end up in a big struggle is that many do not know the vocabulary and how the economic pieces come together. Sullivan says can be fixed if the class is offered early on in a child’s education.

“It needs to be mandatory, at an earlier point in their education to set them up for success. I think we’ve got it set up to a point now where our educational system and our government system is really setting our future generations up for failure in so many different aspects, and finance is one of them,” she said.

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