Open Education Open Education

Financial Literacy – A Topic Every Parent Must Teach their Child

New site provides financial literacy curricula for parents, students, and educators.

Our sister site GoCollege has given a great deal of attention to the current student loan crisis. The problem is actually a very simple one, easy access to loans has led naïve students to borrow significant sums of money as they pursue their college degree.

The problem is that too many students are borrowing far too much and thus are literally mortgaging their entire future. I recently highlighted my concerns with what is happening in my own state where students are leaving the state university with some of the highest average debt levels in the country.

Unfortunately, financial literacy is not a typical topic generally taught in public schools. Thus, educating children about money and the concept of using credit in a healthy manner still falls upon parents. In essence, this is a subject where every family must employ the home-schooling concept.

Great Free Resource

foolproof image 1Fortunately for parents there is one free resource they can turn to help with the much needed education. FoolProofMe, an interactive online financial literacy program geared to teenagers and young adults, is receiving a lot of attention nationally and justifiably so.

Will deHoo, a native of the Netherlands, is the founder of FoolProof. One very appealing element is the fact that the site/program is not affiliated with any bank or institution that is trying to further promote its brand name to kids.

FoolProof’s “modular” programs are highly interactive, featuring music, videos, and dozens of young people from all across the globe discussing financial subjects. The fundamental premise is we all hate looking like a fool but that lots of adults and most businesses make a lot of money by making fools of young people.

While the message is great, perhaps most importantly, all of the videos feature kids and young adults explaining why young people need to become financially literate. The program features discussions on virtually all of the most pertinent elements for kids today: impulse spending, predatory lending practices, the impact of a bad credit score on getting a job, etc. There is also FoolProof’s Top 10 Teen Money Myths which feature some much needed media literacy whereby students become aware that not all advertisements are true or that all loan companies are the same.

foolproof 2They offer a video called “Sucker Punch” where a college-age student talks about how credit card companies attempt to draw in young people even as they charge these individuals higher interest rates because of their youthfulness. It should be required viewing for any young adult about to have access to their first credit card.

And as one person still insisting that building a personal budget is essential, it is nice to see that FoolProof provides students a program that allows them to track and monitor their own spending.

Worthy Concept

In light of this country’s recent credit debacle, financial literacy is a must for all citizens but particularly so for our young people. Any program that focuses on disciplined spending habits and making one’s money go further offers great teaching points for those about to head out on their own.

As we noted earlier, parents might want to think of this in terms of homeschooling their child using the site as a resource. But the site is set up for three different sets of user groups: teachers and educators, parents and grandparents, and college students.

To access the interactive tools, users must create an account so as to be able to access the web-based tools. If teens are using the site, the suggestion is to have parents create the account but for college students Foolproof encourages these young adults to create their own account.

Ultimately, being smart with one’s money is no doubt one of the greatest lessons we can pass along to our kids. FoolProof appears to offer children, parents and even teachers who might want to institute such lessons in their classroom a wonderful free resource.

2 comments

1 Georganna { 11.11.10 at 6:19 pm }

As a mother of 3 & teacher of natural health, I homeschooled my children during their elementary school years in the late 80s & early 90s & I wish I had the use of the internet in those years to be able to find information such as this. Now my youngest is still in college and though most of her tuition and expenses are covered by scholarships & grants, she still has a fairly large amount to deal with after she finishes. She is the last in school now and my other children, both boys, have completed their higher education and though they, too, have little in the way of student loans to handle, they are managing well, even in this current economy.

We need more sites like Fool Proof Me and this site to get the word out to more families that are now sending their children to school. The average family in the current economy certainly doesn’t have the means to send all of their children to college, even with financial planning during their children’s lives. Yet it seems almost imperative that this generation will not get by without higher education.

I myself, believe in self-taught education, especially with the means of the internet. Anyone can get a good education online, even without the cost, if they have the determination. But, it’s too bad, self-education is not a determining factor for getting a good job. Without that ‘degree’ one may as well go into business for themselves.

Thank you for the post. I may start up a ‘natural education’ category on my natural health blog just to link this post.

2 Mcneri { 11.25.10 at 9:16 pm }

The foolproofme.com website is a brilliant idea and I think every parent and indeed grandparent should register on the site. In addition, however, the content there is explained in a way that unsophisticated persons, teens and young adults included, can understand. I run a personal finance website and among other things, I realized that the content on my site, Finance Is Personal may be worded at a level that might not communicate effectively with the ‘non-nerd’ or ‘non-college grad’. Thanks for sharing this information. I will certainly review the site and tell my readers more about it.

Leave a Comment