Put personal finance class on your kid’s back-to-school shopping list


As high school students head back to the classroom this year, a growing number of them might have a class schedule that includes reading, writing and … retirement planning.

More and more states are introducing and enacting legislation requiring high schoolers to complete a standalone personal finance class. These classes help ensure students know the basics of managing their money before moving on to college or the workforce. They learn about topics ranging from opening a bank account and budgeting to managing debt — all to prepare them for financial success and avoid costly mistakes that can have lifelong financial consequences.

A strong foundation

“Financial well-being is not just about wealth creation for those who have a lot of commas in their salary, it’s about giving everyone the fundamental skills to be able to make good financial decisions,” says Angela Harrell, chief diversity and corporate impact officer at New York-based Voya Financial. “High school is when financial decisions start to happen, from working and driving to thinking about student loans, so that’s when it’s important to give them hands-on knowledge and ways to think about real-world scenarios.”