Growing up, there was a lot of things that we were taught in school that most people don’t even use anymore. Some examples are chemistry, calculus, and trigonometry. Those things should be replaced with stuff that people use every week. I have compiled a list of ten things that people should be taught in school. People usually learn about these things, but it is often too late by the time they do. These things will help people a lot. For some, it could even keep them out of debt.
10 Things We Should Be Taught in School
How to Balance Your Books
When I started working at Wells Fargo back in the day, I was amazed at how many people didn’t balance their checking or savings accounts. Many people had no idea how much money they had in their accounts. People would continue to use their debit cards and spend like they had a money tree. I used to have so many customers come in with overdraft fees. It was ridiculous. If we were taught how to balance our accounts in school, overdrafts would go down. People would also know what’s in their accounts and hopefully save more money.
Related Reading: Confessions of a Former Bank Teller
The only thing I can remember learning about loans was that you had to repay them. I was never taught about the different types of loans or interest. Unfortunately, I was not the only one. I have heard endless stories about people taking out loans and now wondering how they owe so much. Learning this information in school could help a lot of people out.
I worked in a financial aid office for nearly five years. Believe it or not, some students I talked with didn’t even know that the loans had to be repaid. It’s sad. I used to share my student loan debt experience with them. It will likely persuade some students to avoid getting into loan debt. Some students listen, while others don’t.
If you have many student loans, you may want to see if you can get them refinanced. Doing that can save you a lot of money. I refinanced my loans a few years ago and got a lower interest rate and payment. Check out the company Earnest for more info.
Taxes should have been the first thing on my list. A lot of people need help when it comes to understanding taxes. I know I don’t. Many people have had problems with the IRS. Some currently owe them some money. Our tax laws are very detailed. There are so many loopholes and tax advantages out there. Most people don’t know them because of a lack of understanding. Tax curriculum should be available for kids starting in middle school.
Credit Cards are a source of debt for a lot of people. Most folks don’t pay them off monthly, so they must pay interest. Interest adds up. A couple of years ago, I had a credit card where I owed about $3400. The interest on it for one month was $76 bucks. $76 was too much money to be spending on interest. In a year, that would be $912 worth of interest. That’s ridiculous. That money could go towards investments or savings, but it’s not. Many people wouldn’t even use credit cards if we learned about them in school. They’d probably pay them off in the same month if they did use them.
Buy Stuff You Can Afford
If they taught this in school, I don’t know how many people would listen, but buying stuff you can afford is essential. This is common sense, but many people would be in less debt if they only bought things they could afford. Trying to keep up with the Joneses keeps quite a few in debt. If you only purchased affordable items, your finances would be better.
Here is another critical thing students don’t usually learn in schools. I’ve met several unserious people at interviews, and their lack of proper interview manners and etiquette was evident. Of course, some people will naturally be better than others at interviews, but a few lessons with some practicals will make any student prepared for any interview. However, that needs to be improved in the educational sector today. Schools should teach students how to identify their weaknesses so that they can address them before interviews. An approach to help to achieve that is by offering mock interviews.
Basic Skills For Survival
Although no one wants to be in a condition that requires these skills, they are still necessary for some unforeseen situations. Of course, you can solve calculus and quadratic equations, but how will that help you even stranded in an unknown location? So, schools should teach students how to fend for themselves and withstand any life-or-death situation that comes their way.
Mental and Physical Health
Mental health issues are a big one today. From ADHD to anxiety and depression, one in five people struggles with a mental health challenge. In the United States today, mental health is a hundred-billion-dollar industry because schools are not teaching us how to take care of ourselves. Even with the rise in living standards, we can see several successful individuals burning out or depressed to the point where they want to stop living. The surge in anti-anxiety medications is also a significant pointer to how prevalent the issue is. Hence, educational institutions should be responsible for implementing mental health-related topics in the curriculum.
Romantic Relationships And Dating
The majority of us will spend a significant part of our lives in a romantic relationship with someone. So, why are schools not teaching it? Many millennials grew up with Tinder or other dating apps. Those aren’t the best teachers. Thanks to personal development, some people develop emotional intelligence to prospect a possible partner, while some may not achieve that. The bottom line is that relationships and dating are vital aspects of living and should be taught in schools. Teaching this topic might be tricky on a large scale; therefore, educational institutions must update the curriculum alongside technology.
How To Make More Friends And Become More Sociable
There is something else everyone has left to chance: throw the kids in a room, and they will figure it out. Although it works when younger, what is the next line of action as they age? I still have some childhood friends who find it challenging to make new friends after school. And remember, your network is your net worth. Making friends is one of the major requirements for success; your ability to network and connect with others will play a significant role in your success. That triggers the question, “Why are schools not teaching that?”
These are ten things that should be taught in school. People would be better individuals if they learned this stuff.
Jason Butler is the owner of My Money Chronicles, a website where he discusses personal finance, side hustles, travel, and more. Jason is from Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Savannah State University with his BA in Marketing. Jason has been featured in Forbes, Discover, and Investopedia.