Posted by Cait | Filed under Cait
How is it June already? I’ve spent the last couple days working on some month-end stuff and that question has continually popped into my head.
We’re nearly halfway through the year, and if you have kids in elementary or high school, this month is going to fly by and take us to July faster than you can pack their lunches. I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic about this month approaching, as it’ll be filled with Baby Bro’s final days as a high school student. He’ll be crossing the stage on the 26th, moving to Alberta for school in August, and then all three of us will be grown up! (Well, almost, haha.)
I like to think each of us received a good education at our respective high schools. However, in the past, I’ve been pretty vocal about how little we’re (high school students in B.C.) taught about even the basics of personal finance. Yes, I’m aware it’s part of the Planning 10 course, but Grade 10 is not the only time we should be talking to our kids about how to manage their finances. The real “fun” begins the minute we graduate, and start working, paying for post-secondary and taking on debt.
Speaking on behalf of my two siblings and I, I have to say we should be extremely grateful our parents talk to us about money all the time. I’m sure Baby Bro and Sis will make a few mistakes with their finances (hopefully not the way I did), but I’m still confident we’re all equipped with the tools we need to make informed decisions (or know who to talk to, if we have questions). However, I had a conversation with another high school student this week that left me both shocked and worried.
While talking about which university they decided to go to, the student said their parents were likely going to pay for everything – but that they were going to get student loans anyway. Their reasoning: “Why not? My teacher told me student loans are interest-free.”
SAY WHAT? Or as Gail would say, Lord love a duck.
I’m actually going to give that teacher the benefit of the doubt, and suggest they perhaps mentioned student loans are interest-free while you’re a full-time student with no detailed explanation of what happens after. But the fact that this student is leaving high school misinformed about student loans should sound some alarm inside all of us. We know millennials are graduating with more student debt than any other generation, but is it possible they are taking on some of that because they aren’t educated on how student loans actually work? The answer for some is at least partially yes.
I obviously talked to this student and explained how the interest will add up one day, and that it could take them years to pay off any student loans they take out. Let’s just say they were wide-eyed. I hope our conversation helped them think twice about their decision, or at least understand that nothing about loans is “free”. However, I can’t help but wonder what information their peers are leaving high school with this month…
Is there anything re: money you felt misinformed about when you were younger?