From studying for classes and playing sports to working part-time jobs, high school students have a lot on their plates. On top of these and other commitments, many students are preparing to head to college after they graduate from high school.
If you have a high school-aged child who wants to go to college, you may want to know how you can help them prepare financially or what money management lessons you should teach them before they go.
We held a Financial Reality Fair at Harrisburg Academy and asked school staff members a few questions about what high school students should know when it comes to managing money.
Important Things for Students to Know
We received great responses from our participants regarding what high school students should know about money management.
- They have agency, or control – While money management concepts may be new to high school students, it’s important for them to know that they have control over how they manage their finances. They have the power to learn about money, develop healthy habits, and prepare themselves for financial success.
- Money is finite – When you begin managing your money, it can be easy to forget that it’s not infinite. Making sure you have enough to cover expenses and understanding how to prioritize purchases are important skills for high school students to learn.
What You Wish You Knew
There were some similar trends involving what individuals wished they had known when they were in high school and preparing for college.
The most common theme was understanding how much things cost. Too often, high school students head to college and beyond without ever being exposed to how much things actually cost. From big bills like rent and car payments to smaller expenses like meals out and haircuts, many students are surprised when they face these expenses for the first time.
Making Learning Fun
It’s clear that it’s important for high school students to learn about money, but how do you make it fun? Our participants encouraged us to make interactive events, like Financial Reality Fairs, and activities that give students hands-on experience, available to high school students so they have an opportunity to learn in a way that’s fun for them.
This is true at home, too. If you have a high school-aged student, focus on making learning engaging and entertaining so that the lessons stick with them and they walk away with an experience they’ll remember. While you may not be able to teach them all about money management in a short period of time, you may spark an interest that’ll lead them to research and learn more on their own.