Financial Literacy can help prevent and/or minimize a personal financial meltdown

Real Estate Agent 5660894-PB00

 Financial Literacy is Knowledge and Knowledge is Good.....Knowledge


This is what I believe. 


Raise the financial IQ of buying public and we all can make better buying decisions and hopefully avoid our own personally financial meltdown.  Here are my thoughts:Learning


A while back, I had the opportunity to volunteer for a Financial Literacy Fair held at a local college for the benefit of local high schools that wanted to participate.  It is a new program fund entirely by local business and volunteers.  The goal is to raise the financial IQ by simulating real life.


Here was the process to enlighten the students:

1.      Select profession.

       a.       Based on GPA

       b.      MoreMaze education the higher paying the profession

2.      Receive a credit score.

       a.       Everyone receives a low score (opportunity to

                 improve credit score comes later)

3.      Buy a car and insurance.

       a.       Up selling is the goal for volunteers.

4.      Purchase a home and homeowners insurance.

      a.       Up selling is the goal for volunteers

5.      Receive an unexpected expense.

      a.       For example an unexpected car repair

6.      Saving and Investments station

        a.     This is the most time consuming step and the 

               student finds out if they are saving or going into debt.

7.      Final step is to repair their credit

      a.       After credit repair, the student revisits the home and 

                car buying stations.



The goal is to teach the following:

Nest Egg•         Save now for A LOT MORE later

•         The huge saving in credit cost with a good credit score versus a poor credit score.

•         Savings account is where unexpected expenses get taken care of and not on a credit card

•         Help them realize the reality they will face in wanting the nicer home, especially if they can not afford it. 

•         Up selling them is part of life and they need to learn to buy what they can afford, not always what you want

•·         Plan for unexpected expenses


I do believe that financial literacy taught and implemented is a positive step and the early in life the better.  I personally was never taught anything like this when I was in High School.  Some people are naturally very conservative; some are the opposite and other fall somewhere in-between.  Why can't we have transparence and full access to resources to make an informed decision (not sure we always have reliable sources)?  What is the harm in taking responsibility for our education and actions? 









BTW, I really enjoyed the time I spend working with the students and plan on doing it again. 



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Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Mark, that sounds like a great program. In my "old age" I've often wondered why something like this isn't a required course. Novel things, like how to balance a check book for example.


Feb 01, 2009 05:45 AM #1
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

Quite interesting, Mark. I've always wondered why there's not a parenting class and a financial class in high school, or even college. Maybe Life 101?

Feb 01, 2009 09:02 AM #2
Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

Jay- Those young minds seemed to be soaking it up.  Most of them were vey focused and wanted to learn.

Jim- It sure would make sense.

Feb 01, 2009 10:08 PM #3
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hey, I was taught how to write a check in sixth grade. :)

But nothing about saving.

Elizabeth Weintraub Land Park Real Estate Agent in Sacramento

Feb 02, 2009 01:55 AM #4
Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038 - Downingtown, PA


Words to be taken to prepared.

Feb 02, 2009 11:39 PM #5
Mark Watterson
Salt Lake City, UT
Utah Real Estate

Elizabeth- Most of us learned different ways to spend.  Not really how important it is to save.

Dan- Never hurts to plan for the worst and expect the best.

Feb 03, 2009 12:13 AM #6
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Mark:

Great advice! -

Feb 04, 2009 12:41 AM #7
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

This sounds like an excellent program.  Kids need some realistic goals and some parents don't begin to touch on this matter and teach responsible fiscal behavior by example or words.

Feb 10, 2009 04:46 AM #8
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Mark Watterson

Utah Real Estate
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