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Saving a Buck: Teaching your child about money


OKLAHOMA CITY — In this day of budget deals, or lack there of, some are wondering if the financial future of our country will be any better.

A recent study found a majority of states in the United States, including Oklahoma, are not producing financially literate high school graduates.

However, there are efforts being made to change that.

At Putnam City High School, students are getting a lesson in finances.

While it may not sound like a lot of fun, it’s actually one of the most popular classes.

Aaron Riffa, a senior at Putnam City High School, said, “I definitely think Financial issues is the most life-related class we have.”

It’s good news considering our state received a “C” on a recent study by Champlain College, evaluating the financial knowledge of graduates.

Shannon Beeler, with Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, said, “Kids need to learn early, I need to work for the things I get and I need to be wise about how I use the money I’m given.”

Beeler says classes like the one at Putnam City High School should not be the only place your child learns about the value of a dollar.

Darcie Henderson, with Junior Achievement and Prosperity Bank, said, “Give your kids an allowance and talk to them about how they can earn money.”

Beeler said, “I believe you start as young as where kids understand what money is.”

Junior Achievement works with schools around the state to help teach those lessons, starting as early as kindergarten.

Beeler said, “Make sure they know the difference between needs and wants and saving money and spending money.”

It is an important lesson for parents too.

Experts say don’t let your financial insecurity keep you from talking to your child and it’s okay to admit you have made mistakes.

Many financial literacy teachers say the classroom is the only place students learn about money.

Riffa said, “Besides your parents, you learn from their mistakes or what they do but no one actually gives you step by step how you should go toward the future.”

A point which makes financial classes essential and it seems the lessons are making an impact a little at a time.

Junior Achievement says 35-percent of high school students admit to having and using credit cards.

Some of those card carriers have even maxed them out.

It is a dangerous habit they hope to help students overcome.