Save a Penny, Gain a Future

Katherine Filler, Journalism Student

Managing money seems to be quite the struggle – not just for teens, but young adults and grown adults as well. Learning about personal finance in high school can benefit everyone in the long run because it teaches students to manage their money and set financial goals for their future.

Ms. Holly Ruiz, applied arts teacher at Bethel High School is proposing the idea of making personal finance a graduation requirement for the students starting with the class of 2014. “Personal finance helps in every application of people’s lives” Ms. Ruiz says.

The proposed plan would start with the sophomores and freshman. Students would have two and three years to get the requirement finished.

Principal Patricia Cosentino likes the idea. “Students need to start putting their future into consideration because the money aspect is really important,” advises Dr. Cosentino. “One thing students should always do is ask themselves ‘what do I want to do in my life?’’ says Dr. Cosentino.

Teaching personal finance in school is becoming more and more popular because it is coming to realization that students are leaving high school and are completely “financially illiterate.” Dr. Cosentino suggests “Students should think about life in a whole picture, not just day by day.”

The personal finance course at BHS covers everything that has to do with money from financial goals to disaster relief. It also incorporates advertising and influence, banking, and credit.

Personal finance was not offered when Ms. Ruiz was in high school so she didn’t have that well of an understanding, which she says got her into trouble. That is why the main idea of her personal finance is the fundamentals of managing money, which is something that everyone should know about because it will follow them anywhere in life.

Without having the knowledge of personal finance young adults are entering into the world blind of what will soon be coming to them. Kids should not only think about the few days ahead, they should always be considering their future and where they see themselves after college with a stable job, eventually buying a house and a car, starting a family then retirement.

Personal finance becoming a graduation requirement at Bethel High School has plenty of advantages, not only for teachers, but mostly for students by gaining the knowledge they will need for being successful in everything they do.