Do you know the nine words almost every adult says when they find out that one of my biggest audiences for financial education is students?

“I wish I had that when I was younger.”

And then they usually follow it up with sentiments like:

“That would have been nice before I spent way too much money on my first car.”
“Wow, I wish I had known this stuff before I got that credit card offer that seemed so perfect.”

In my experience, few of us felt adequately prepared for our financial life after high school. Did you? I know I didn’t.

I mean, it wasn’t until 2011 that I started tracking my expenses (cough, way after high school), and I realized I had spent almost $50 on ice cream in one month. Thanks #budgeting. It was the beginning of a journey into understanding my own habits, beliefs, and mindsets around money. I realized that once I had identified them, I could change them in order to build the life I wanted most.

I live in Vermont, and in 2009 my original position teaching financial literacy to VT high school students was funded through a federal grant (thanks to Bernie Sanders). This was in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, and the initiative was in response to statistics like these:

1 – Only 48% of high school students could pass the National Jump$tart Coalition Financial Literacy Assessment–and the number was even lower for college students.
2- Only 17 states in the USA require students to take a finance course to graduate high school.
3 – The #1 reason students fail to complete college is due to financial pressure.

Since then Vermont has made progress with financial education. I reached thousands of Vermont students before launching my career as a national speaker, and Vermont’s Champlain College created the Center for Financial Literacy. In 2013, 2015 and 2017 the Center released the National High School Financial Literacy Report Card. They have also trained hundreds of teachers through their Summer Institute to better financially educate their students.

According to the 2018 Survey of the States: Economic and Personal Finance Education in Our Nation’s Schools, there are now 17 states that require personal finance to graduate.

This is important to me because I believe your ability to manage your money directly affects your ability to have the life you want. I say this line in every speech. That’s how much I believe it. 🙂

If you never learn how to have a good relationship with your money, it’s much more likely you’ll live life with debt, stress, and probably a fair amount of gastric distress. These are the facts.

Many people struggle with a sense of hopelessness when it comes to personal money matters. This is where I want to help. Financial education shows you that the foundational terms and money habits are learnable, and that you can acquire these skills with the help of experts around you. Most importantly, learning these basic money skills shows you that you are not a victim – you can change the story you’re writing with your life by changing the way you manage your money.

Check out my funding page here, and if you’d like to bring my performance to your area, you can apply for a scholarship.