Tips & advice on getting your finances back on track.
Where did you learn about personal finance? In the 1980’s and 1990’s when I was in school, financial literacy was not a topic that was taught. I graduated high school with little knowledge of banking, credit, interest or many of the other financial literacy topics that are necessary to be a financially responsible adult. Like many of my friends, I went to college and got myself into significant debt and made very poor financial decisions that haunted me for years to follow. The upside was it gave me the passion to promote and teach financial literacy for the last 18 years.
Fortunately, there is a dynamic movement in this country to bring financial literacy into the classrooms for today’s students. The National JumpStart Coalition, which has branches in states throughout the country, has been very vocal about the need for financial education in kindergarten through high school. As a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I am so proud to say that we have been a leader in this area. In 2009, NJ was one of only a handful of states that made financial literacy a one semester class requirement for high school graduation. Our students have been entering into trades and colleges with a better understanding of fiscal responsibility.
New Jersey continues its innovative push by passing a law in January 2019 that mandates financial literacy instruction in grades 6th through 8th. This bill had bi-partisan support and will go into effect for the school year in September 2019-2020. The focus of the lessons will be budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance and investment.
I had the opportunity and pleasure to meet with Dr. Lamont Repollet, The Commissioner for the NJ Department of Education, shortly after the bill was passed. He and his staff are very excited about the implementation of the new mandate and getting teachers prepared for this new endeavor.
Navicore Solutions has always been a vanguard of the financial literacy movement. We are available to provide curriculum assistance and teacher training as the state of NJ prepares educators for this venture. Only 26 states have a requirement or guidelines established for middle school students regarding personal finance. As someone who has been in the field for many years, I feel that we are introducing these students to a life skill that they will take with them and use forever.
Kim Cole is the Community Engagement Manager for Navicore Solutions. Kim provides financial education workshops and seminars to communities. Readers can submit general questions relating to personal finance, credit scoring, debt management, student loans, home finance or bankruptcy which may be highlighted in the next month’s edition. All identifying information will be kept anonymous.
Please send your questions via email to DearKim@navicoresolutions.org