Hands-On Experience with Financial Literacy

Financial literacy focuses on developing skills to make someone more informed about their money management decisions. Gaining the skills and knowledge to become financially literate is a lengthy process that should start at a young age.


Financial literacy isn’t something that is required in schools and financial education falls on parents and guardians. Currently, 17 states require high school students to take courses in personal finance while 33 other states have introduced or have pending financial literacy legislation pending.


By the age of 12, students have developed an economic understanding and throughout their cognitive development learning smart money habits will encourage them to make better choices when it comes to their financial futures. Teaching financial literacy early has resulted in higher credit scores, lower debt, and higher savings.


Students who have had financial literacy classes have done it through digital learning modules, workshops and some classroom lessons. Banks and other institutions have started to explore other ways to teach students about finance, and have found that a hands on approach is helping change their behaviors about money.


Recently, U.S. banks across the U.S. have started their own financial literacy programs to help high school students build a financial foundation for themselves. Community Spirit, a bank branch in Alabama, has developed a program to enable students to open checking and savings accounts for $1 to keep until they are 24 with parental permission. The program also allows students to work in the bank as tellers to handle their peers’ transactions and market the student-specific accounts to their peers.


Banks like JPMorgan Chase Co, Santander Bank, and Bank of America Corp have partnered with nonprofits and the public sector to provide participants of summer youth employment programs the opportunity to open easy access accounts and learn how to properly manage their finances. Student workers enrolled in this program can choose from a variety of banks and account offerings that are validated by the nonprofits.


Allowing students and young adults to be properly educated in financial literacy will help them develop better money habits and allow for a successful future of saving money and being more financially aware. If financial literacy is something to enroll a student or young adult in, reach out to banks, credit unions, and credit companies to find a financial literacy program that will work specifically for them.