9 Financial Skills You Should've Learned in High School

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There is a movement that is working on teaching basic personal finances to high school student before they graduate. Many students graduate without learning how to manage the basics or without solid financial skills. The sad truth is that many parents do not talk about to them either because they either are embarrassed by their current situation or they do not know enough about finances to teach it to someone else. Here are nine things every high school student should know about finances before graduating.

How to Balance a Checkbook

It may seem backwards to balance a checkbook, especially with the software available to help you but it is an essential skill. You simply cannot rely on the balance that the ATM or bank gives you and learning how to do this will make it easier to manage your money in the future. Everyone should balance their account to their statement each month.

How to Set Up a Budget

A budget is the key to succeeding financially. If you do not know how much you are bringing in each month and how much you are spending, you are going to end up in the red. Learning to set up a realistic budget and to plan for the future is essential to being successful later in life.

How to Pay for College

Most students assume that the way to pay for college is by using student loans. There are options available including financial aid, scholarships (even if you do not get perfect grades), and work options. Debt Free U should be a mandatory reading assignment for every high school senior.

Cooking, Grocery Shopping and Other Life Skills

Although these things may not seem related to finances, basic cooking and other skills can save you a lot of money. It is important to make sure you have the basic skills that can help you find the best prices and plan practical menus to get you through college. Other skills like doing the laundry, mending clothes and other  basic skills can help you make your clothes and other items last longer and save money.

Basic Investing

A basic investing class can make a huge difference in how you handle your money in school and after you graduate. Investing can be intimidating if you do not have a basic understanding of how the stock market works and how to choose basic stocks. There are programs available for high school students that allow them to choose investments and watch them grow over time.

Long Term Planning

Understanding the need for a long-term plan for your money is essential if you want to be successful financially. If you understand how to set financial goals and break them down to work on them when you are in high school, you are well on your way to being successful later in life.

How to Build Your Credit

It is also important to work to build your credit score so you can qualify for a good mortgage when the time is right. Learning to manage your payments, to keep your debts low and to always pay on time. Managing your credit from the time you graduate will make it easier to execute your long-term plan.

How to Manage Credit Cards

Credit cards are the downfall of many college students and other young adults. Many look at them as extra money instead of as a tool. Credit cards may be good or bad, depending on how you use them.  It is important to pay them off in full each month and to carefully manage your credit score.

How to Rent an Apartment and Pay Your Utilities

Many college students start out in the dorms, which means they do not need to worry about this the first year. However, college dorms are often more expensive than living off campus and so it is important to understand how to manage renting an apartment and splitting the bills with your roommates. Making mistakes here, and putting only your name on the lease can mess up your credit when a roommate runs into a rough patch. It is important to know how to protect yourself while keeping things fair.