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Apr 1, 2021

Celebrate Financial Literacy Month with your kids and teens

Financial literacy is a topic we celebrate year-round at Greenlight. And when there’s a whole month shining a light on the world of money — we are all in.

In honor of Financial Literacy Month this April, we got curious and we got to work. We fielded a national survey to better understand the state of financial literacy among teens in the U.S. 

Then, we launched our first set of free financial education materials with Kahoot! (the leading game-based learning platform for teachers and students). Families can play along together at home, too. 

Excited yet? We sure are. Read along as we explore what teens know and how you can learn more about the world of money together.

Teens lack confidence in personal finance topics and crave more personal finance education

Nearly three-quarters of teens (74%) reported that they don’t feel confident in their personal finance knowledge. About the same percentage of teens (73%) said they wanted to learn more — music to our ears. Of those lacking confidence, 15% don’t know where to begin, and over half say they are learning. 

The bottom line. A majority of teens we surveyed lack confidence and want more education that they can trust. That’s something we can tackle — and celebrate — together

So, what are teens learning about money? When it comes to the subjects they’re familiar with:

  • 62% of teens have learned about saving — an essential part of a financially healthy future. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help your kids make saving a habit. Or, for an extra incentive, your kids can participate in our Savings Goal Sweepstakes. All they need to do is set or work toward a savings goal and they’re entered to win $500.

  • 50% have learned about earning — which includes jobs, career decisions and income. If you're looking for ways to show your kids and teens to earn, here are 12 ways they can start.  

  • 44% are learning about how to save for college. And 44% have learned about banking, too.  

  • 42% have learned about budgets. Yet, almost a quarter (23%) do not know how to actually make one.

Investing is top of mind for teens right now, with 86% of them reporting being interested in investing. But 45% say they haven’t invested because they don’t feel confident or their parents don’t know how to get started. It may seem daunting at first, but most investors start out as beginners at one point! As a major key to building long-term wealth, it's time they start learning. Not sure where to get started? Here’s a comprehensive guide.  

Teens trust their families and don’t believe everything they hear 

You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered, “Is my teen actually listening?” Well, guess what! They are. They told us that parents and families are their #1 trusted source for financial information. Let’s make that count. 

Just over half of teens (52%) say they are learning about personal finance at school. Despite focused improvements in recent years, several states still don’t include personal finance in their curriculum standards at all. See where your state falls.

There is no shortage of personal finance information on social media, and YouTube and TikTok topped the list for teens. In fact, nearly half (48%) of teens are learning about investing from social media — yet, they don’t believe everything they see. In fact, teens rank social media as one of the least trustworthy sources for personal finance education. 

Let’s make a difference together

Lessons in personal finance should begin in elementary school. And making those lessons fun goes a long way. That’s why we expanded beyond the Greenlight app and into the classroom with interactive lessons for teachers and students on Kahoot! Now, kids and teens in grades 3-12 can learn about saving, budgeting, investing and more at their level. Even if your kids’ teachers don’t play in class or assign as homework, you won’t miss out! Families can play at home by choosing a quiz, then logging in or playing as a guest! 

“Teaching financial skills both at home and in schools is so important, but often parents and teachers don’t have the tools they need. Greenlight offers groundbreaking financial education solutions for families at home and is now bringing its expertise into classrooms across the country. The new collection of personal finance lessons with Kahoot! is fun, interactive and easy-to-use. It’s the perfect way for teachers to engage their students on the critical topic of financial literacy.”

— Neale Godfrey, financial literacy expert and CEO of Children’s Financial Network

In case you haven’t already, we invite you to learn more about Greenlight. Within the Greenlight app, kids can set their own goals, track their progress and learn how to make real-world tradeoff decisions.

In January, we launched the first-ever educational investing platform designed for kids and teens, so they can learn how to build long-term wealth. In the app, families can take a deep dive together with informative videos and expert guides. Morningstar, an investing research tool, provides ratings and analysis right in the app to help your family make smart decisions.  

At the end of the day, we're proud that teens want to learn more and that they're looking to their parents to teach them. Whether you're just getting started learning personal finance as a family or you've been investing together for years, Financial Literacy Month gives us yet another reason to dig in and learn more.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY 

Survey insights were collected by Greenlight through a ResearchScape survey fielded between February 26 and March 2, 2021, among 1,029 respondents in the U.S. ages 13-20.

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