Financial Literacy: What a Millenial Wish They Knew

When it comes to teaching our children financial literacy, for many of us, it can feel like we’re trying to navigate through a labyrinth. Figuring out what to teach them and how to teach them without overloading them can be quite the task.

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We’ve gone from the bartering system to coins and paper money, checkbooks, credit and debit cards, and now Bitcoin! Spending has become so effortless that you can simply press “add to cart” or “place order” and your request will arrive in a matter of minutes or days.

In a country that makes being a consumer so convenient, how do we encourage our children to be fiscally knowledgeable and responsible?

A conversation between a Gen X financial consultant and a Millennial IT professional gives us insight into some of the issues, concerns, and benefits of talking to your children about finance.

Njeri Gichia-Broussard (Gen X), Entrepreneur and Financial Services Professional with New York Life.

Jasmine Savwoir (Millennial), IT professional with Titan IT Enterprises.

Gen X: What do you wish you had known when you were in Kindergarten and all through high school?

Millennial:  School doesn’t really teach you how to buy or order things. School doesn’t teach you about money conversion and different currencies, bills, buying a car, applying for loans. I wish I’d known this before starting college. They don’t teach you how to sign up for a credit card. A lot of college students get into a lot of credit card debt.

Gen X: What about a credit score?

Millennial: I knew vaguely about a credit score but didn’t really know how it worked. Interest rates and credit cards would have been good to know.

Gen X: What was critical that you’re glad you knew and what do you wish you would have known?

Millennial: I had a debit card so I was glad I knew how to have a bank account and look it up; knowing how to set up alerts and get notifications for a low balances and things like that and being able to set it up and add to a savings account. How to do taxes is something that would be good to teach to young people how to do it before they get a job.

Gen X: What do you wish you had done financially while you were in college and what do you wish you hadn’t done?

Millennial: I wish I had known more about budgeting and budgeting techniques as well as investing. I wish I had known more about that in college.

Gen X: What do you wish you hadn’t done while you were in college?

Millennial: I could have made a few smarter money choices like saving money. I wish I was able to save more while I was in college. I wish hadn’t spent so much money on so many things, like clothes.

Gen X: Yeah, I know what that’s like. You get a little bit of money and a little bit of freedom and go a little bit crazy. I spent so much money on clothes and CDs and tapes back in my day. So much money!

Millennial: For kids in elementary and high school I recommend they look up certificate programs for the jobs they’re interested in. Especially for technical jobs in IT. A lot of people are out of school like me and the companies want those certifications that I didn’t even know about. They can save so much money and get a good job sooner.

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