Bridging the Gap: How Education Leads to Financial Freedom

As a registered financial planner and content creator, I’m dedicated to guiding individuals to make smarter financial decisions. Despite the vast amount of easily accessible financial information online, many people still find themselves grappling with financial struggles. From budgeting woes to mounting debts, the struggle is real and prevalent.

The root of the issue extends beyond simply understanding finances—it’s deeply rooted in our relationships and behavior towards money, which are often shaped by our experiences growing up.

For example, individuals who felt financially deprived as children may overcompensate in adulthood, leading to excessive spending and potentially, debt. Conversely, those who experienced poverty during childhood might continue to live frugally, even when their financial situation has significantly improved.

The impact of these early experiences on our financial habits underscores the importance of early financial education. Research shows that starting to save at an early age can lead to better financial habits and a more secure financial future.

My passion for financial literacy extends to all age groups, including children. I’ve started teaching my daughter about budgeting and investing from a very young age.

Recently, I had the privilege of being a panelist for a financial literacy program aimed at high school students through the collaborative partnership of Wells Fargo and JA Philippines. During this event, I shared my own story of financial struggles and how I overcame them. I also highlighted the importance of teaching and empowering children with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed financial decisions.

teaching kids about money

The Need for Financial Literacy

In a world where financial stability is the key to a brighter future, many Filipinos are facing significant challenges in managing their money. The need for cooperation among non-governmental organizations, government agencies, and individuals is more critical than ever. Research from a financial summit expo reveals that a staggering 80 percent of Filipinos have no savings to prepare for the future.

But there’s hope on the horizon. The same study highlights a critical finding: young people who start saving early, often during their teenage years, tend to develop better financial habits. These early savers are better prepared to secure their financial future, adept at managing personal finances, and more capable of planning for retirement, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Moreover, research increasingly suggests that individuals who possess a solid grasp of financial literacy tend to make wiser financial decisions, accumulate more savings, and build more robust financial portfolios.

Starting Them Young

Junior Achievement (JA) Philippines, in collaboration with Wells Fargo International Solutions LLC – Philippines (Wells Fargo), geared up to continue bridging the financial education gap for young minds through the second year of JA Personal Finance Program. This program is designed to align with the skill requirements of Senior High School graduates in public schools, offering them valuable training and educational materials focused on enhancing financial literacy.

financial literacy for students

Mr. Krishna Alejandrino, JA Philippines Executive Director, stressed the organization’s goal for the program,

We are forever grateful that we have partners like Wells Fargo, that gives light and importance, through this program, in ensuring that the students are financially literate. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge, pays the best interest.”

Mr. Mike Whyte, Country Head – Philippines, had this to say about the program,

“Wells Fargo is honored to partner with JA Philippines on this great advocacy for the second year running. Helping others succeed financially is at the core of what we do, and by advocating for financial literacy through educating the youth about saving and smart money management, we can empower families and communities to succeed and achieve financial wellness. It truly is a great fit.”

Through the Wells Fargo and JA Philippines’ Personal Finance Program, Filipino high school students have a unique opportunity to understand how their present financial choices affect their future financial freedom. As a result, these students are gaining insights into achieving financial wellness, mastering money-management strategies, including aspects of earning, employment, income, budgeting, savings, credit, debt, consumer protection, smart shopping, risk management, investing, credit card usage, debt management, and net worth.

Additionally, the program is empowering these students to explore the impact of their financial decisions on their relationships with others, fostering healthier conversations and collaborative financial decision-making. Essentially, the program is enabling them to recognize the pivotal role money plays in shaping their relationships and their lives.

financial education for students

Building a Brighter Financial Future through Education

The JA Personal Finance Program Year 2 sets an ambitious goal: deepening the financial literacy knowledge of 10,000 senior high school students through discussions, activities, and practical applications. The program comprises two core components:

J.A. Personal Finance Component 1: This segment expands and builds upon the best practices established in Year 1. It aims to develop and upskill senior high school students in essential money-related concepts such as earning, budgeting, saving, investing, using credit wisely, and safeguarding their finances. The program is divided into five key learning sessions and one special session:

  • Session 1: Setting Financial Goals
  • Session 2: Earning Session
  • Session 3: Budget and Savings
  • Session 4: Investing and Entrepreneurship
  • Session 5: Smart Shopping, Customer Risk, and Risk Management
  • Special Session: Debit and Credit

J.A. Personal Finance Component 2: This part is intended for students who successfully completed Year 1 of the program. It introduces additional training based on feedback from the inaugural year. These activities encompass live training and practical exercises focused on two pivotal sessions:

  • Session 1: Risk Management
  • Session 2: Understanding the Benefits and Potential Returns of Investing, Types of Investment Products, and Investment Risks

A Path to Financial Independence

By imparting these fundamental financial principles, the JA Philippines and Wells Fargo Personal Finance Program are empowering young Filipinos to craft personal financial plans. These plans enable them to set specific goals for their lifelong financial needs and desired quality of life. This initiative represents a vital step towards a brighter financial future for the youth of the Philippines and for the nation.

About Wells Fargo Philippines

Wells Fargo International Solutions LLC – Philippines is a critical component of Wells Fargo’s (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.) strategy to leverage distinct advantages in doing business in a global environment. 

Wells Fargo International Solutions LLC – Philippines enables talent capabilities worldwide to help drive innovation within a constantly evolving environment. It provides operational, functional, and technical expertise to assist the operations, knowledge services, and corporate support teams of Wells Fargo. It facilitates greater efficiency and helps improve service effectiveness in international operations, knowledge support, front-end customer service, and middle and back-end business process solutions for a wide spectrum of Wells Fargo’s needs.

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