The importance of financial literacy in today’s world is critical for success. Financial literacy is an academic discipline that goes beyond the classroom. As part of our commitment to whole development and real-life preparation of students, The Christ School has made a commitment to teaching wise money management by providing a personal finance class for all 6th grade students. The class focuses on the basics of managing money, such as saving for future purchases, creating a budget, planning for the future and charitable giving. Utilizing fundamental biblical principles regarding stewardship, The Christ School utilizes the Foundations in Personal Finance Curriculum, which is the middle school edition of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. As part of that instruction, students learn how debt can add stress and problems to everyday life, the concepts of entrepreneurship, the basics of investing, the power of compound interest, and are introduced to global economics and consumerism.
A Scottish Proverb we share with our students at the beginning of the class is “a fool may earn money, but it takes a wise man to keep it.” To help the meaning of this proverb sink in, the students are tasked with creating and implementing an envelope system. This system helps the students better understand where their money is going and holds them accountable. By creating “give”, “save”, and “spend” envelopes, they are challenged to devise their own budget and manage their money accordingly. A further challenge is also set in place to see how much they can save throughout the course or save for a specific item that they would like to purchase. The students are amazed at how disciplined and conscious decision making over time can yield large savings. A surprising turn of events often comes at the end of the course when students who were saving for something specific decide to continue saving rather than purchasing that desired item. They instead set their sights on bigger aspirations and enjoy seeing their “save” envelope grow. Many have even taken it one step further and have started their own savings accounts to see the interest rates add to their savings.
Whether our students are discerning between needs and wants, learning the impact wise financial choices make over time, or understanding how money moves around the world, our Personal Finance class equips them to handle the world ahead by providing a firm foundation for their future financial decisions.
“I never really thought about having a plan for my money until I took the Personal Finance class. Now I am thinking about my plan for the future and how I’m going to earn money for college and during college. This class was fun! I learned how to think about money and be more responsible with it.” Mia, grade 6