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Finance Camps a Sign of Better Things to Come?

Modern kids are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly aware of typically adult topics, the latest evidence being Summer finance camps. Most kids today are tech whizzes, so they should be able to balance a checkbook, right? Kids anywhere from grade school to high school are learning about everything from budgeting and avoiding credit card fees to investing and financial lingo.

Most of the finance camp programs last between three and six days and cost anywhere from $150-$350 with need-based scholarships available. It's wonderful that some kids are learning money lessons so early and have time to let those lessons sink in before they're financially independent. While personal finance is currently limited to an extracurricular activity for kids, I'm hoping it's a sign that schools will follow and start teaching money lessons of their own.


Join The Conversation
nancita nancita 8 years
Wow, I'm glad my dad never heard about finance camp, because that's totally the sort of thing he would have wanted me to do. I am grateful, however, that he taught me so much about finance; I was lucky. I wish that it was taught in school and I always wonder why it's not offered alongside sewing or cooking.
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
am I the only one that thinks this is completely stupid? summer camp is not for learning how to balance a chequebook -- it's for skits and sports etc. I don't know why americans are so bad with money. Maybe because of Bush's destruction of the school system, so that so few actually passed math class.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 8 years
i wish they'd had these camps when my parents were children, so that they then could've afforded to send me as a child. ha.
valancyjane valancyjane 8 years
I don't know if a camp is the best setting for these lessons -- it seems like that would make finance purely an academic pursuit, not "here's how you balance need vs. want when you have $50 to last you a week but you want new shoes." I guess it teaches knowledge, not habits. But I say that without seeing a curriculum, and it's better than nothing. And I probably would have benefited from this information ... My parents didn't teach me much about money except "Save, don't spend." So when I rebelled and got a credit card, of course I knew nothing about interest rates and cash advances, so I didn't handle it well and I have a (slowly decreasing!) mound of debt now.
SDTransplant SDTransplant 8 years
I guess my high school was ahead of the times in the late '90s when it was already offering a personal finance class as an elective. I'm not sure how directly it shaped my personal finance habits (I think my mom was the biggest influence on my habits because she balances her checkbook to the last penny), but I did learn about stocks and bonds early on and that was helpful. Then again, perhaps the class didn't stick because some of my friends who also took that class are now swimming in debt.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i guess this could be a good thing depending on what the kids are actually taught. the last thing that we all need is a kid telling us what we're doing wrong based on what they learned in class. that's one of the most annoying things ever. i think that if the classes are geared to teach financial responsibility and how to prepare for the future and all that - then there's nothing wrong with it.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 8 years
This past school year, my son's math teacher had the students carry a checkbook in which they wrote down all their "invisible" transactions. The teacher did this exercise to help the children with mental math and also learn about finances. She also had them practice at home with an accounting ledger the kids made in class and it helped my son keep track of the money he spent out of his allowance. I was amazed at how seriously he was keeping track of his allowance and how strict he was about his spending habits. His restriction on his toy buying impulses was even more impressive. I'm hoping that for this coming academic school year his teacher continues this practice in the classroom, of course, with some guidance at home from mom as well.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I wish they would have had this when I was a child --but I doubt I could afford to go. Maybe a personal finance class would be better in school.
tcd4ever tcd4ever 8 years
I would send my child. Heck, they should have them for adults.
KawaiiAyu KawaiiAyu 8 years
I definetely wish I had this back when I was in school! It would have saved me lots of headaches I have now. My parents were too busy getting a divorce to teach us anything. Not to mention my mom didn't KNOW anything as she continued having extreme financial problems after the divorce. I got lucky at least by being the youngest, I watched her mistakes get passed down to my two older brotehrs and I learned from their mistakes.
imLissy imLissy 8 years
I really wish schools did teach about finance. I took a lot of crappy electives in HS, even worse in middle school. A finance course would have been a much better use of my time.
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