13 May What makes a good graduation gift? How about some financial literacy
Thousands of high school and college kids are graduating this spring, diplomas in hand, ready to head out into the world, pursue their dreams or start their careers. The fact is that while we consider our schools as “educational” institutions, many students coming out of high school and college are lacking in financial literacy.
Instead of giving a recent grad money, which may get quickly spent-consider giving them a gift with the offer of an “incentive” gift. Rather than just giving some money …write them a note and offer the opportunity that if they use the funds to open a savings or investment account. Make the offer that if they do so, and the funds remain in the account…in 3 or 6 months that you’ll match the original amount. When they get their first job, encourage them to take a portion of their paycheck each month and contribute to the account. Its never too soon to start developing good saving and investing habits.
Despite our nation’s overall wealth, financial literacy in America is low. A poll conducted by S&P, Gallup, World Bank and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at George Washington University, released in November, indicated that just 57% of Americans received a passing grade when asked four basic personal finance questions. In the U.S., the survey found that young people have lower financial literacy scores than those that were middle aged. We have to do more for our kids than just hand them a slip of paper and expect them to find their way on their own.