“I asked for a car, I got a computer. How's that for being born under a bad sign?” griped Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) in the 1986 classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (VIA). Ferris Bueller may not have gotten the new set of wheels, but he did use his creative hijinks to score the free one-day use of a 1961 Ferrari 250GT California, while at the same time motivating his peers to collect money for a new, albeit unnecessary, kidney.
Back in the real world, most high school students graduate without a basic financial education, are unable to save for a medical emergency and can only dream of sitting in a Ferrari. Forty states teach some level of personal finance, according to the National Council on Economic Education. But that doesn’t mean most high school grads have a basic understanding of how to manage money. The actual implementation of personal finance into high school education is dismal. Only nine states require a course with personal finance content to be offered and only seven states require students to take a personal finance course in high school to graduate (Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota and Utah).
Here are eight subjects that aren't taught in high school (but should be):
1. Realities of Credit Cards
Lack of understanding of how credit cards work causes far more financial problems for people than should ever happen. Credit cards aren't evil, but they can seem that way if you don't know how to properly use them.
When you already have a credit card is not the time to be learning how they work, unless you want to receive some extremely costly lessons. Teaching people in high school that using a credit card is not using free money and comes with a huge cost over time would keep a lot of people from the early personal-finance disasters these cards can cause.