Why Isn’t Financial Literacy & Financial Responsibility Taught in School?

It is the pink elephant in the (school) room…why isn’t Financial Literacy and Financial Responsibility taught in school? Now, for those few schools that choose to include personal finance courses in your curriculum- kudos to you! Most high schools and even universities choose not to include these imperative topics in their course work or in their orientation programs. I think it is a gaping hole in our educational system. Whatever the why is for not including Financial Literacy and Financial Responsibility courses…the reason is not good enough.

Credit Cards on Campus

When I transferred to Barry University, in Miami Shores, Florida for my junior and senior year of college, I was a young woman of 20. As I was signing up for my classes, I also “signed up” for an American Express (Amex) card because they had a booth set up on campus. Amex was giving two $99 round trip airline tickets just for getting the Amex card. I was thrilled! Now I could fly home to Connecticut twice for less than $200! What a deal!

Well, it was really only a deal if those two airline tickets, and anything else I purchased, were paid in full when the credit card bill was due the following month. I no longer remember the interest rate of the card but I know it was high. Amex was targeting college students with something that was hard to refuse- very affordable airline tickets. Amex was playing on college students’ emotions- just like most credit companies do.

I was very responsible with my money even then. Although I did not have a car that first semester at Barry, I applied at multiple restaurants within walking distance and was graciously hired by Mama Jennie’s Italian restaurant. I worked there as a server and hostess even beyond graduation. So thankfully, I did not run up credit card debt but that is not the case for many.

So, young people definitely have access to credit cards, student loans, and other methods of accumulating debt. Yet, rarely do they have access to classes and courses that teach them how to be financially knowledgeable and responsible, stay out of debt, and learn how to save and grow their money. These core money skills, along with learning about budgeting, taxes, how car insurance works, mortgages, and positive money mindset, to name a few, are crucial to getting a solid financial start at a young age.

Graduating Without Core Money Skills

Young people often graduate from college with a pile of student loans and possibly a pile of credit card debt. They get their diplomas and head off into post graduate life with no real knowledge of how money functions. Yes, students can read about money, listen to podcasts, and educate themselves but if finance or accounting is not their major- this is likely not happening.

Also, the sooner young people understand core money skills, how to make your money work for you, and positive money mindset, the sooner the skills can be applied in life. I think it would be so beneficial for young people to learn these skills before the money mishaps happen.

I am very passionate about teaching young people core money skills, positive money mindset , and how money can affect relationships. Talking about money is not taboo but so often it is treated as such. I want to change that.

Student Fundamental Financial Skills

I created Student Fundamental Financial Skills, a workshop for young people -anyone from a junior or senior in high school to age 30 or so- who want to learn core money skills and positive money mindset. Knowledge is power and these money skills are game changing. The younger you learn, practice, and hone these skills the smoother your financial road will be. In the financial responsibility you create peace, space, and freedom. I believe Financial Responsibility = Financial Freedom. I practiced these skills from an early age, retired at 50, and live the life I choose.

Let’s take the stress, fear, and worry out of money. Money is a neutral, we give it the charge. Lean into The Joy of Money with me.


Susan, The MoneyMaestra

Susan Howell
Written by: Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra.

Even though I grew up without money, I was able to retire at 50 based on my financial practices. I worked for the Federal Government for 26 years, with 6 of those years at the IRS and 20 at the Department of Justice, which included investigating many money-related cases.

I created MoneyMaestra to share what I know and to help people get on the path to Financial Freedom.


  1. Cheryl

    As I’m reading this blog I’m thinking about how different my life could have been if I had some knowledge and support around managing money. In my family there was a lot of emotion around money and the lack of it. Fortunately I was ambitious and have always been able to create income. However, having guidance on living within my means and creating wealth were not topics that I had support on. I had to figure it all out myself and the path was filled with bumps and life lessons. What you are offering is SO needed and of great value. I hope the word gets out!

    • Susan Howell

      Cheryl, you are speaking my language. I want to provide knowledge and support to young people around managing their money and making it work for them. There often is a lot of emotion around money- when money is actually a neutral, we put the positive or negative charge around it. So many families just don’t talk about money with their children nor is it often taught in schools or universities. Having knowledge, understanding, and guidance on budgeting, living within your means, saving and investing at a young age, along with other core money skills, and positive money mindset, puts young people on a healthy financial path.


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