4 Digital Resources to Boost a Teen’s Financial Literacy
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Although adulthood is when you truly get to make your own financial decisions, it’s important to build financial literacy at a young age. However, Youth.gov reports that many teens don’t receive the proper financial guidance, whether formal or informal.
The survey found that 18% of 15-year-olds don’t even know how to budget or comparison shop, while another study showed that only 27% of young people were unfamiliar with the term inflation. For the most part, teens learn about finances through observing and listening to adults or when their peers talk about it.
I know – how many of us adults are thinking about the econ class we took in high school? Here is the thing: it was an elective! It is also one of the least popular classes for the average student to take. The average teen isn’t learning things like supply and demand, inflation, budgeting, or even the basics of investing and saving.
Let’s face it – money isn’t everyone’s love language.
OK, it isn’t mine either but I know that you can’t live comfortably off the interest of a million dollars anymore. Let’s do the math quickly:
The national average interest rate for savings accounts is 0.06% APY, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Ouch. Inflation is at 5%. But, for the ease of math here, let’s round that interest rate up to 1%.
So, $1,000,000 multiplied by 1% equals $10,000. For. A. Year. (And we rounded that interest rate up!)
I don’t know about you, but that covers my property taxes and leaves about $2,500 for utilities and food.
Never before has it been more important to learn about basic finances and plan for the future. The days of working at a company for 30 years and getting fully vested in a pension are long gone – we have to plan for our own futures, down to possible long-term medical care. I think we spent $400,000 over 5 years for my father-in-law’s level four care at the nursing home with his dementia.
Now, I know this is geared for our kids, but you can jump in here and pick up skills and knowledge too. These are easy-to-do and use gems that will help break everything down into bite-sized pieces for understanding basic concepts and building that solid foundation for a good financial future.
4 Digital Resources to Boost a Teen’s Financial Literacy
Fortunately, even in the event that you don’t get the proper financial guidance or education, you can do plenty of research by using online resources to help you deal with any financial situations you find yourself in.
So below we’ve listed some of the digital resources that can help you boost your financial literacy:
E-books are always great for learning, especially on practical topics like finance. A list by Women Who Money highlights some of the best starter books for teens and young adults, and surely, you’ll be able to find digital versions of these titles online. Make Your Kid a Money Genius is a great option for expanding your general knowledge on finance, while What All Kids Should Know About Savings and Investing focuses on the wealth-building part of Financial Literacy. If you find that you are better at learning visually, try The Teen Money Manual by Kara McGuire, as it is filled with charts and graphs as well as practical checklists for teens.
For something with a lighter tone, I Want More Pizza by Steve Burkholder has clear but entertaining writing. There are plenty of anecdotes and examples which show the reader the importance of money management. If you have money to spare, e-books are a great start for self-studying financial literacy.
Financial sites and blogs
The government has a lot of financial resources you can check out. Their MyMoney.gov website teaches people the basics of financial education and has resources specially curated for the youth and their Financial Literacy. They give out advice on how to save money, how to budget, and even how to approach shopping in a more prudent way.
AskMoney.com is another useful site that has articles on anything from budgeting to insurance. They have features that are dedicated to teens as well, such as ’10 Ways Teenagers Can Get Lower Rates on Car Insurance’ and ‘How Do You Find Grants for College?’ Articles like these are designed so that teenagers can understand the fundamentals, so you don’t need to worry about confusing concepts or jargon.
Here at Operation40k.com, we also give advice on how to save and make money, such as avoiding money-making scams and how to make your hobbies profitable, which are very doable for teens. Teen-friendly finance sites and blogs are easy to come by as long as you put the right keywords into Google.
f you’re an auditory learner, it’s worth considering finance podcasts, too. A person talking about money may seem boring, but there are many podcasts that non-finance nerds will enjoy. Stacking Benjamins, for instance, feels like a finance variety show — they answer questions sent in by listeners, do interviews, and have jovial conversations about finance the way other people would about sports.
The College Investor, as the title suggests, talks about the financial problems of a college student, as well as what students face when they finally graduate. They tackle topics from how to land your first job to tips for beginner investors. Finance podcasts for teens acknowledge that no topic is too trivial because, at the end of the day, everyone needs to start somewhere.
For audio-visual learners, or for anyone having difficulty grasping financial concepts on their own, online tutorials are great. YouTube is a treasure trove of creators sharing stories and strategies, and teaching concepts in a way that makes them easy to understand.
Graham Stephan combines finance and entertainment, with videos that are specifically for teenagers. You can learn the basics of finance, such as credit cards and saving money, and learn about any current financial events in your area as well.
Time.com discusses how TikTok can also educate you on finance. Delyanne Barros shares her personal finance journey and posts about paying off debts and financial independence. However, due to TikTok only letting creators post 60-second videos, the social media platform is a little limited when it comes to introducing people to finance topics, so it is great for giving users a little push to learn more on other platforms.
Finance can be a complex and intimidating topic when not taught properly. But whether you were educated on the basics or not, there are tons of resources that can help you better understand finance. You just have to be willing to get out there and look for yourself.