“It’s time to rethink how we teach children about money,” says Charlie Wells for The Wall Street Journal.
Financial literacy programs in school don’t seem to work. “Most children still grow up into adults who can’t properly save, spend and budget,” claims Wells.
But new research shows there is one school subject that does help kids develop good money skills.
And guess what? It’s math class.
Students who take more math courses turn out better at managing their credit, investments, and home equity.
“A lot of decisions in finance are just easier if you’re more comfortable with numbers and making numeric comparisons,” says Shawn Cole, professor of finance at Harvard Business School, interviewed by the Journal.
“Without strong math skills, he says, people tend to use more emotional ways to invest, spend or save their money. What’s more, people with less math experience make worse financial mistakes with issues like compounding or underestimating how quickly interest accumulates.”
The Takeaway: Today’s financial lives are much more complex than before, and failing to master money concepts can make a mess of your life. So next time your kids complain that they’ll never use those math lessons outside of the classroom, think again! And for parents, if math is really not your strong suit, get advice or partner up with someone who’s more numerically inclined.