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Preventing personal bankruptcy begins at a young age

Parenting involves striking the fragile balance between teaching children effective life strategies and allowing them to make some mistakes in order to learn by experience. In fact, sometimes the most effective way to learn a lesson is to fail. Unfortunately, however, some mistakes are more difficult to bounce back from than others. The state of Florida is responding to evidence that people’s financial futures can depend largely on early education by considering legislation and teaching practices.

In considering what approach to take to promote financial literacy among high school graduates and young people, the Florida Department of Education determined that it would only cost the state approximately $140,000 to implement a one-semester high school course statewide. The “money course” would be implemented through the passage of a bill that was introduced last year, and was designed to combat the issue of the reckless spending habits and overall lack of financial awareness of high school graduates throughout the state and country.

It’s estimated that a large percentage of Florida high school graduates do not understand practical financial concepts and practices such as managing savings accounts or balancing a checkbook. Even though some financial lessons are learned with experience, the fact that many young people don’t know the basics of paying back loans or how certain behaviors can affect one’s credit score puts them at serious risk of facing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the future.

Personal bankruptcy is one form of debt relief that is effective in many cases, but it is an option that must be taken seriously. Preventing financial difficulties from ever occurring is the best way to ensure financial security. Meeting with an experienced lawyer can help young people understand the nature and severity of their financial situation, and develop the debt relief plan that is right for them.

Source: The Palm Beach Post, “Point of View: For Florida’s students, money matters,” Michael L. Bell, July 29, 2014

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