Personal Finance Expert Angie Mohr Slams Financial Illiteracy in the Public Education System

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Best-selling personal finance and business author, Angie Mohr, rates the public education system in the United States on financial literacy and gives it a failing grade.

Angie Mohr CA CMA

If we don’t have money smarts, then we can’t pass them along to our children. Parents must get educated in personal finance. There are so many books and websites out there that teach financial literacy. Know how to balance your checkbook and make a budget. Let your children see you being fiscally responsible. Don’t be afraid to talk about money with your kids.

Best-selling personal finance and business author, Angie Mohr, rates the public education system in the United States on financial literacy and gives it a failing grade.

Says Mohr, “At the beginning of another school year, we find once again that our kids are learning more about theory and less about practical financial concepts. Our kids can explain the Pythagorean Theorem but can’t make change from a $20 bill. They can memorize passages from Shakespeare but don’t know how to compare the value of two items in a grocery store.”

We have only to look at the recent recession to see the damage that financial illiteracy can wreak, says Mohr. “Leading economists pinpoint lack of financial knowledge as one of the precipitating factors in the ongoing recession. When kids don’t learn the basics of financial management, they grow up to be adults who don’t understand how their mortgage works or even whether they have more money coming in than going out every month.”

Mohr recognizes that there are federal initiatives in place to grow the country’s financial literacy but says it’s too little too late. “In 2003, the federal government put in place the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to develop and disseminate financial education programs for both children and adults. To date, they have implemented exactly zero such programs. They are still developing a strategy seven years later while our kids lose out.”

So, what is the answer? According to Mohr, individual schools and parents have to step up to the plate. “Ultimately, financial education is going to have to be a grass roots effort. Schools and even individual teachers have to find ways to implement basic economic concepts into existing curriculum and fight to introduce new financial literacy curriculum.” Mohr doesn’t let parents off the hook, either. “If we don’t have money smarts, then we can’t pass them along to our children. Parents must get educated in personal finance. There are so many books and websites out there that teach financial literacy. Know how to balance your checkbook and make a budget. Let your children see you being fiscally responsible. Don’t be afraid to talk about money with your kids.”

Angie Mohr is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. Her best-selling Numbers 101 for Small Business series of books are available worldwide in several languages. Mohr is also the author of the upcoming book “Raising Money$mart Kids” (Key Porter, 2011). She is available for media interviews.

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