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Teaching the value of a dollar at an early age

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As a child, I knew lean times — times when I had to forego things my classmates had and could afford. At one time or another I’ve heard “sorry, but those sneakers are just too expensive, and we can’t afford to buy those right now.” “I made so many mistakes as a young man because I never had a background in basic financial education, and I wasted so much money.

I believe we need financial education taught to every young New Yorker so they can have an early start on establishing a bright financial future. Teaching these ‘soft skills’ is foundational, like ensuring the gears of a machine are properly oiled, to closing the inequality gap and helping create self-sufficient families.

Recently, I put my support behind S.2452/A.1357, legislation that would establish a financial education curriculum in grades 9 through 12 across New York State. At least five states currently require a personal finance course to graduate high school, including Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia; in September, New Jersey will require all middle schools to offer financial education.

Since arriving at Brooklyn Borough Hall, I’ve committed to improving the financial literacy of all Brooklynites, including an understanding of how money works, how one earns and manages it, and how to invest or donate to help others in need. Partnering with organizations in the financial services, grassroots, and small business communities, my administration has organized and supported hundreds of free educational opportunities across the borough since 2014, which have taught nearly 4,500 residents the necessary skills to make wise everyday financial decisions.

I declare every April to be Financial Education Empowerment Month in Brooklyn, highlighting the importance for families to make smart budgeting decisions, avoid financial scams, and monitor their expenses. Still, these efforts are no substitute for classroom instruction at an early age, helping young men and women avoid the pitfalls that can handicap their opportunities.

It is of the utmost urgency that our children and grandchildren learn to navigate the world of personal finance at an early age. Implementing a financial education curriculum has been demonstrated to improve students’ credit scores and increase savings rates. This is particularly impactful when we consider the number of millennials who are concerned about their finances.

A 2016 survey from Bank of America found that only 16 percent of Americans between ages 18 to 26 are very optimistic about their financial future, which for many includes part of the trillions of dollars in student debt that our nation’s borrowers carry. Perhaps even more alarming, a 2018 report by Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households indicated that a full forty percent of American households did not have enough money to cover a $400 emergency expense. Many more families are struggling on top of that when we note differences in education levels, race, ethnicity and geography.

As borough president, I realize that Brooklyn cannot thrive if its families can’t survive on their finances. All Brooklyn families also want their children to thrive, and be assured their children will be able to survive and overcome challenges that they may face in the future, by getting a head-start on financial literacy. That’s why a holistic 21st century education needs to include financial education.

Eric L. Adams is borough president of Brooklyn. He served 22 years in the New York City Police Department (NYPD), retiring at the rank of captain, as well as represented District 20 in the New York State Senate from 2006 until his election as borough president in 2013.

Updated 9:05 am, June 11, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
I suppose personal finance classes would tell you that you should move to another city because the oldsters shut down housing production in New York and you'll never find a place unless you inherit it. And personal finance classes could tell you how to manage your unearned wealth from inheriting property. You wouldn't want to spend your entire windfall in one place.
June 11, 10:27 am
Local from Here says:
Yes, gtfo and go find another place to live because we are full here. There is no infrastructure being built to handle anymore people and what exists already is past the breaking point. Go discover the next big thing that all the culture vultures will soon descend upon.
June 11, 11:28 am
The Lenape Tribe says:
Yes, gtfo and go find another place to live, "Local from Here". We were here first.
June 11, 12:09 pm
BKman from nubrucklyn says:
Its time to teach personal finance to fight the predatory lenders and bad decision making.
June 11, 2:05 pm
Local from Here says:
Sorry you sold out for $24 Lenape. I’m not selling and am not going to let a bunch of real estate vultures turn this city into a sardine can. Hopefully your REBNY friends paid you for that post.
June 11, 3:05 pm
The Lenape Tribe says:
Then shut your ballwasher, you crying bich.
June 11, 3:14 pm
Local from Here says:
But whining is my strongest trait.
June 11, 3:43 pm
Wanda from Brooklyn says:
Despite what Eric Adams thinks, the whole world doesn’t revolve around money! You cannot buy happiness, and your obsession with money over people explains a lot of what is happening in Brooklyn.
June 11, 4:10 pm
Local from Here says:
You seem to having an episode, Henry. I’d call you an ambulance but instead have a helping of stfu. You really should kill yourself, you can save the planet that way.
June 11, 4:20 pm
Local from Here says:
See! I told you whining is my strongest trait. My mommy said I'm the best! Sometimes she lets me out of the basement to lap up her cunny.
June 11, 4:25 pm
Local from Here says:
Oh I think I hear her calling me now! Yum yum!
June 11, 4:25 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
The Lenape Tribe I Think the Indians were here first :-)
June 11, 5:14 pm
Local from Here says:
You dumb bob.
June 11, 6:21 pm
Local from Here says:
Aww, look at the deranged vision zero troll have another meltdown. *screamingtoddler.gif*
June 11, 8:15 pm
Local from Here says:
My mommy taught me the value of a dollar, every time johns would come over and pile drive her in front of me. Except they didn't pay her with money, they paid with little white rocks.
June 11, 8:19 pm
Local from Here says:
The big black ones never even paid with the tiny rocks. They would line up and each take a turn, but never paid. That's why I don't like the blacks, they never pay.
June 11, 8:20 pm
Local from Here says:
Now I sleep on a mattress (no bed frame) that covers most of their dried up cumshots. They are old, crusty, hard, and smell like garbage farts. The largest pile is right near my pillow in the corner. That's what they called the "dog pile corner". That's where they'd try to see how many of them they could fit in her at once. I think it was 7 total, DVDA & triple oral.
June 11, 8:26 pm
Local from Here says:
⬆️We are gonna need to bring back involuntarily confinement of the mentally ill to make America great again. Remember folks, this one is dressed in drag and seeking out your children. ⬆️
June 11, 9:11 pm
Local from Here says:
I should know all about this. I'm an expert on raping children. I grew up here and never left the hood. I know all the best places to fukkk kids.
June 11, 9:42 pm
Local from Here says:
I don't know why I keep typing "we" in my comments. I'm all alone.
June 11, 9:43 pm
Tracy from Park Slope says:
Spoken with the delicate stink of unconscious privilege. Not everyone has millions of dollars lying around to invest. There is no universal type of financial management, and the children who do worst at this probably don’t have basic math skills.
June 12, 2:44 am
Teacher from High School says:
Thank you ! I am a teacher at a public high school, so I think I know better than you other commenters. Many of my students don't even know the word money ! They are from other countries, and don't speak english. They understand that there's bits of colored paper, which they exchange for their very expensive sneakers - but that's it. They are from places where people probably just trade bananas or falaphels to get services, not financial planning. This class would do so much for them, if only they could understand what was being said.
June 12, 7:22 am
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Good idea by Mr. Adams.
June 12, 2:17 pm
Ms. Me from Bay Ridge says:
Also needed are child psychology classes to prepare students for future (hopefully distant future) parenthood.
June 13, 5:18 pm

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