The problem with this solution is that due to lack of funding and the need to meet other educational stipulations, the financial information is often taught by an ill-prepared and already-overloaded teachers. Previously, the only programs available to help out schools were run by banks with agendas, but now there is a new kind of program called FoolProof to teach kids about money without trying to sell them something.The scary reality of finances and kids is that the advice they get isn't always right and many of them ruin their credit simply because they are uninformed. The MySpace Citi credit card is only the latest example of why banks shouldn't be in charge of educating our youth about finances. Despite purporting to reward using credit wisely, the program fails to mention that the cornerstone of wise credit use is paying off your balance in full every month.
The comments on the credit card's MySpace page only highlight the need for an educational program that can help students, schools and parents learn about money and personal finance. This is where FoolProof comes in.
FoolProof is a program designed by young people from across the world to help educate students about financial decisions in a friendly video format using real life stories. The best part is that FoolProof can be used for free by anyone, no matter their financial aptitude, to help young people learn about money.
Check out a sample video explaining credit cards:
There are three separate tracks in FoolProof: one for a classroom setting, one for parents or grandparents and one for college aged young people. Each of these programs offers different skill levels and information tailored to the age group. Though FoolProof is funded by leasing the program to credit unions it is available for free to anyone and no information is shared with credit unions.
High School Teacher: The high school program is especially great because it offers a two-week turnkey personal finance tool to high schools for free, with no strings attached. The program comes complete with a curriculum and the ability to grade based on the program. Additionally, the FoolProof program meets or exceeds many of the state standards for teaching financial literacy and isn't trying to sell a product to students, claims that can't be made by the majority of bank based literacy programs.
Parents and Grandparents: This version of Fool Proof puts the power of financial literacy in the home by letting parents or grandparents lead their children through 7 hours of personal finance learning. The program is an excellent way to educate your children before helping them with a car loan or other financial decision. The best part is that even if you aren't a financial expert you can make sure your kid knows what's what when it comes to money, you might even learn something yourself.
Check out this video explaining the parent program:
College age: The final FoolProof program is FoolProof Solo which helps college age individuals learn more about money. This program tackles more difficult subjects than the other programs and challenges students to use critical thinking to make decision on their own rather than simply believing without question what FoolProof is telling them, especially when it comes to where to do your banking. Even recent college graduates like myself can learn something from the Solo program.
The FoolProof program doesn't just receive my approval but that of several consumer advocacy groups who don't take endorsements lightly.
"At a time when our economy is in crisis, it is essential that consumers learn to protect themselves. Fool Proof provides consumers with easy to understand real information that can help them avoid the tricks and traps that have left us all with too much debt and too little savings" says Ira Rheingold, Executive Director ,The National Association of Consumer Advocates
"FoolProof offers young and old alike hard-hitting and effective messages about debt and savings in an appealing, easy-to-digest video format," says Steve Brobeck, President, The Consumer Federation of America
For too long the leaders of this country at all levels have bemoaned the financial aptitude of our youth and enacted legislation to change the problem without enabling school districts and parents to do this. Thankfully the initiative of young people from across the globe has led to the creation of FoolProof, which addresses an ever growing area of need in our society. There is no excuse not to share this with your children, grandchildren, students, roommates, even your fiancé.
To sign up yourself or someone whose future you care about visit FoolProofme.com and make sure that no one makes a fool out of you; it may be the most important financial decision you make.