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Important lessons about money

Published 9:25pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

With the increasing complication of economics, financial systems and personal finance as the world advances, it’s becoming even more important that children be taught from a young age about the world of earning, saving and spending.

Just as the language spoken by a child’s family comes naturally to him or her, so, oftentimes, does financial literacy. As in so many other things, children pick up their money habits by watching their parents.

However, as in many other areas of life, some parents don’t always do their jobs, or they aren’t capable of passing along good financial habits, because they don’t possess them. In those cases, it’s up to the schools to take up the slack.

Hillpoint Elementary School on Tuesday put on a fantastic event, as reported by Matthew Ward earlier this week, that taught students a wide range of financial and economic skills.

Second-graders have been earning tickets throughout the year for exemplary behavior and conscientiousness. On Tuesday, they got the chance to spend their tickets on goods and services produced and provided by their fellow students.

Different classes sold trail mix, lemonade, bracelets, pencil snakes, foam art, dancing time and face-painting services, among other choices. In so doing, students learned about what it’s like to produce and market goods and services.

The students who spent their tickets also learned valuable lessons about saving and spending, consumer choice and the scarcity of resources.

And all of the students learned about the importance of good behavior. It really does pay off — particularly if teachers are doling out tickets for it.

The students in second grade — though their parents probably don’t want to hear it — are fewer than 10 years away from their first jobs and fewer than 12 years away from their first student loans and credit cards (though if they’re really smart, they won’t ever get a credit card).

It’s important they learn these concepts now. In high school, the state-required financial literacy course will follow up with important stuff like establishing a relationship with a bank or credit union, how debt works and the dangers of payday loans.

Cheers to Hillpoint for conducting this important and fun activity for the kids. The lessons they learned were invaluable.

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