The Connection Between School, Extracurricular Activity, and Financial Literacy

I recently read an Article discussing the connections between kids doing chores and success. It explains how by highlighting the skills learned during the process of doing chores such as time management, being a cooperative and productive member of society, and delaying gratification. It explains that this simple act of enforcing a reasonable amount of chores for each age group will help your child succeed almost well enough to get into Harvard if they wanted. What a claim right?

As a parent myself, I am always aware that the decisions I make and enforce with my daughter can either help or hurt her chances of growing up to be a successful and functioning adult in society. As parents we always want more for our children so we send them to schools we think will help them learn and succeed the most. We put them in extracurricular activities that will help them gain important skills for success.

When I go into schools and present financial literacy concepts, I begin with the basic economic concept of Human Capital. Why? I want the kids to see the connection between being/staying in school and the extracurricular activities they are in and the skills they learn from this. I ask them what sport, music lesson, etc they are in and what they learn from it besides the obvious skill of the sport/instrument itself. I want them to make that connection between learning time management, delayed gratification, sticking with something, researching, etc and see how that can play into their success as an adult to make and save money. I want them to see that education is like a ladder and if they don’t keep building on the ladder they won’t reach their goals. What good is a half built bridge?

So what does this have to do with financial literacy? If we can teach our kids the healthy habits of how to budget/manage time, delay gratification, stick with something, and make the connection that continuing to learn no matter your career choice will help you grow in whatever you choose to do, then they will be able to do the same with money. This is all budgeting is. Budgeting our income, delaying gratification so we don’t sink in debt, stick with our money goals, and always keep learning how our money can work for us instead of the other way around.

It all begins with the skills we teach our children now and the way we show them to make intentional decisions.

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