April is Financial Literacy Month, which is the perfect time to work with students on money basics. While some students may be starting to manage their own bank accounts, most don’t yet grasp the concept of credit, savings, or financial security. Financial literacy is a topic that benefits each and every student regardless of their post-high school pathway. Here are four topics to cover with middle and high school students to start them on the right foot.

1. Bank Basics

Many students don’t have a bank account, so they may be unfamiliar with the difference between banks and credit unions, the reasons to keep money in a bank, and how to open a bank account. Kuder Navigator’s Finance 101 course includes a checklist that students can utilize as they begin to choose the bank account that’s right for them.

2. Borrowing Fundamentals

Credit is a major part of life – from credit cards to student loans to home mortgages. Too often, students don’t enter college or the workforce with the context of credit, lending, and loans. By setting the stage on borrowing basics, students can begin to learn about interest, managing credit, and credit scores to enter the real world prepared with the knowledge to succeed.

3. Money Matters

It’s never too early to help students create a spending plan that they can build on as they grow. From tracking daily spending to creating a forecasted budget, spending plans and awareness allow students to develop financial literacy skills that will help them into and throughout adulthood. By utilizing tools such as Kuder Navigator’s Monthly Income and Expense Worksheet and Daily Spending Log, instructors can help students begin to build successful spending habits.

4. Keep it Safe

All too often, young adults are susceptible to predatory lending, high-interest credit cards, and identity theft. Help them understand the dangers surrounding checking, credit, and borrowing so that students can remain vigilant while building safe spending habits that ensure they make informed financial decisions for years to come.

Regardless of a student’s pathway, safe, responsible spending and borrowing habits are essential. For more content, lessons, and worksheets, check the Finance 101 section in Kuder Navigator. Don’t have Navigator access? Visit us at kuder.com for more information.

About the Author

Kim Oppelt, Ed.D is the Vice President of Career Readiness and Development at Kuder. Dr. Oppelt has over 20 years of experience in career and college readiness, both as a licensed school counselor and in educational technology. Throughout her career, Dr. Oppelt has worked with districts and state systems throughout the country to design and implement successful pathway planning processes, developed products and programming for K-12 students, and has conducted research on the experience of students as they develop their own career pathways. Dr. Oppelt has a B.A.S. in Health Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth, a M.S. in counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and a Doctor of Education from St. Mary’s University.