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Importance of Financial Literacy

A growing concern held by many employers for today's youth entering the workforce, either while in school or college, or even those getting permanent jobs, is Financial Literacy. Many teens have never had a savings account nor have they written a check. The word budget is often the furthest thing from their mind and in some cases not a part of their vocabulary. Teens have often not been exposed to the dangers of spending money they don't have, using credit cards without considering the consequences, and they often do not take time to consider how to save to achieve their financial goals. With all the turmoil in the economy today, it would be very beneficial for students to learn all they can about how to manage their money and strive towards financial success. However, do the students understand the importance?

We all make mistakes with our money. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and correct them so that they do not have a negative impact on our future. This is especially important for your students as they enter the workforce. Some don't believe your financial record is considered when you apply for a job, but in many positions it will be. One of the 13 Adjudicative Guidelines for determining eligibility for access to classified information is Financial Consideration. The Questionnaire for National Security Positions has an entire page where the applicant needs to answer questions about their financial well-being and disclose their financial obligations. One can be disqualified from obtaining a security clearance for having a history of not meeting financial obligations, inability or unwillingness to satisfy debts and unexplained affluence.

One of the first things many teens want when they turn 18 is to get their first credit card. Many teens feel it's a sign of financial independence, and a quick way to get something they want. Who doesn't want that? Although it's not the only way to get into debt, it is one of the fastest and easiest ways, and most often mismanaged. Unfortunately, most teens don't realize how damaging it could be to their future if not handled properly. It doesn't just affect their eligibility for a security clearance it also affects their ability to obtain credit in the future. And, it is not just for obtaining a security clearance because so many jobs will run a credit report for all new hires, which makes managing your finances correctly a priority for everyone. With many high schools and colleges now requiring students to take a financial literacy course, we can only hope teens realize just how important this issue is to their future.

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