Dave Ramsey High School Curriculum and Homeschooling: 4 Things You Need to Know

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A portion of Gen Z believes that they’re too young to think about money management. To another percentage, finance matters seem totally insignificant.

And, then, there are those who want to learn, but those money guys seem to be speaking Latin backward when they talk about savings accounts, checking accounts, brokerage accounts… “I mean, how many different types of accounts are there?” you may be thinking. And we agree, it all gets confusing and overwhelming pretty fast.

Yet, one of those money guys, Dave Ramsey, a name you might have heard of, dedicated a big part of his career to helping young people learn how to handle money early on and thus avoid costly mistakes later.

First, let’s discuss what I think about Dave Ramsey’s High School Curriculum.

Overview of Dave Ramsey’s High School Curriculum

Dave Ramsey’s high school curriculum is structured to provide students with practical knowledge and tools to manage their finances effectively. The curriculum is divided into a series of engaging and interactive lessons that cover a wide range of financial topics. Each lesson is designed to be both educational and applicable, ensuring that students can easily relate the material to their everyday lives.

Core Components of the Curriculum

The core components of the “Foundations in Personal Finance” curriculum are carefully curated to address various aspects of personal finance. These components include:

Budgeting and Saving

One of the foundational elements of Dave Ramsey’s curriculum is teaching students the importance of budgeting and saving. Students learn how to create and maintain a budget, track their spending, and set financial goals. The lessons emphasize the significance of living within one’s means and the benefits of building an emergency fund.

Debt Management and Avoidance

Understanding debt and how to manage it is crucial for financial success. The curriculum educates students on different types of debt, including credit cards, student loans, and mortgages. It also provides strategies for avoiding debt, such as understanding interest rates and the dangers of borrowing more than one can repay. Dave Ramsey’s famous “Debt Snowball” method is introduced as an effective way to pay off existing debts.

Investing and Wealth Building

Investing is a key component of long-term financial health. The curriculum introduces students to the basics of investing, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and retirement accounts. It explains the principles of compound interest and the importance of starting to invest early. Students are encouraged to develop a long-term perspective on wealth building and to understand the risks and rewards associated with different types of investments.

Benefits of Implementing Dave Ramsey’s Curriculum in Schools

Integrating Dave Ramsey’s financial literacy curriculum into high school education offers numerous benefits for students. These benefits extend beyond academic learning, impacting students’ personal lives and future financial stability.

Real-World Financial Preparedness

By completing the “Foundations in Personal Finance” curriculum, students gain practical skills that prepare them for real-world financial situations. This preparedness includes understanding how to handle personal finances, make informed financial decisions, and plan for future financial goals such as higher education, buying a home, or starting a business.

Improved Financial Decision-Making

The curriculum fosters improved financial decision-making by equipping students with critical thinking skills related to money management. As students learn about budgeting, debt, and investing, they develop the ability to analyze financial options and make choices that align with their long-term objectives. This skill set is invaluable in helping them avoid common financial pitfalls and achieve financial independence.

Enhanced Economic Awareness

A comprehensive understanding of personal finance contributes to enhanced economic awareness. Students become more knowledgeable about economic principles and how financial systems work. This awareness not only benefits them individually but also contributes to a more financially literate society as a whole.

Now that we covered that, let’s talk homeschooling as my wife homeschools our daughters.

Let’s Talk Homeschooling

Dave Ramsey provides a detailed account of the pros and cons of homeschooling, but let’s cover some basics.

Quick editor note: I love home schooling, and my wife home schools 3 of our little daughters, and will most likely homeschool the 4th daughter when they are old enough.

Dave Ramsey’s support for homeschooling is rooted in his broader philosophy of financial responsibility and personal empowerment. He believes that homeschooling can be an effective way for families to take control of their educational expenses while providing a tailored learning experience for their children.

Cost-Effective Education

One of the primary reasons Dave Ramsey supports homeschooling is its potential to be a cost-effective alternative to traditional schooling. Homeschooling allows parents to avoid many of the expenses associated with public and private schools, such as tuition fees, uniforms, and transportation costs. By managing their own educational resources, families can allocate their budgets more efficiently and potentially save a significant amount of money.

Reducing Hidden Costs

Homeschooling can help reduce hidden costs that are often overlooked in traditional education. These include costs for extracurricular activities, school fundraisers, and everyday expenses like school lunches and supplies. Ramsey points out that homeschooling enables parents to have more control over these expenditures, allowing them to prioritize their spending according to their family’s financial plan.

Personalized Financial Lessons

Homeschooling offers a unique opportunity for parents to incorporate personal finance education into their children’s curriculum. Dave Ramsey advocates for teaching kids about money management from a young age, and homeschooling provides a flexible environment to do so. Parents can use real-life examples and practical exercises to teach budgeting, saving, investing, and the importance of avoiding debt.

Early Financial Education

Integrating financial education into homeschooling helps children develop a solid understanding of money management early on. Ramsey emphasizes that financial literacy is a crucial life skill that can significantly impact a child’s future. By learning these principles at home, children can grow up with a stronger foundation in financial responsibility, which will benefit them throughout their lives.

Flexibility and Family Values

Dave Ramsey also highlights the flexibility that homeschooling offers in terms of aligning education with family values and schedules. Homeschooling allows families to create a learning environment that reflects their beliefs, values, and priorities. This flexibility can be particularly beneficial for families who prioritize financial education and want to ensure that their children receive consistent, value-based learning.

Balancing Work and Education

For families where parents have flexible work schedules or work from home, homeschooling can be a practical solution that allows them to balance their professional and educational responsibilities. Ramsey encourages families to explore homeschooling as a way to achieve a harmonious balance between work, education, and family life.

Financial Considerations for Homeschooling

While Dave Ramsey is a proponent of homeschooling, he also stresses the importance of careful financial planning and consideration. Families need to evaluate their financial situation and create a sustainable budget that accommodates homeschooling expenses.

Budgeting for Homeschooling

Creating a comprehensive budget is essential for families considering homeschooling. This budget should include costs for educational materials, extracurricular activities, and any additional resources needed for effective teaching. Ramsey advises families to plan ahead and ensure they have a clear understanding of the financial commitment involved in homeschooling.

Utilizing Community Resources

Dave Ramsey recommends that homeschooling families take advantage of community resources to enhance their educational experience without incurring excessive costs. Local libraries, community centers, and online educational platforms often offer free or low-cost resources that can supplement homeschooling curricula. By leveraging these resources, families can provide a rich and varied education while maintaining their budget.

Jobs and Finances for Teens

As a father of four young daughters, I constantly think about how I can teach my kids about good money stewardship. While I don’t think I saw this growing up, I so appreciate what my parents taught me by how they managed their money.

Can 15 Year Olds Get Jobs?

You may have a 14-18 year old and wonder what type of jobs they can take in order to start bringing in income to manage their finances.

The good news is that 15 year olds can often get jobs, and here are 15 best jobs for 15 year olds that may boost their income and confidence in the workplace.

Tools to Help Manage Teens Finances

One of my favorite products recently for my oldest daughters has been a kid’s debit card. I did extensive research by comparing Greenlight and Famzoo and goHenry and others before deciding upon Greenlight debit card as it has a lot of great parental managing functionality with the ability to help teach them investing. As you may know, I am always looking for deals.

Also, if you find this article useful for other parents, I would love a share us provide unbiased personal finance content.

Dave Ramsey Books That Can Be Helpful for Teens

There are a couple of Dave Ramsey resources that may be helpful.

The first book that Dave Ramsey wrote with his daughter Rachel Cruze is called Smart Money Smart Kids. The goal of this book is to help equip parents to teach their kids how to win with money. It includes basics such as spending, giving, and saving. It also covers such topics as paying for college, going against discontentment and avoiding debt in life.

The next book is called Foundation in Personal Finance: High School Edition. You can find more information by clicking here. There’s also a home-school edition that looked interesting. According to the description, the curriculum includes teacher resources, video lessons, and a student text. It also includes 35 activities that provide personal finance knowledge in a student-centered capacity.

Being money-smart pays off

Entering the “Dave Ramsey for Teens” article is a great first step. The reason why is because you’re probably not getting much education about personal finance in high school, maybe none at all. And while things like credit scores, investing, and retirement savings may seem to you like far-off financial worries, make no mistake – they are closer than you think. And the truth is, the more you know about money, the less you’re tied to a job, making someone else money.

Girl studying from books and laptop.
Use your time wisely and learn as much as you can about handling money the right way.

Right now, your finances are still relatively simple to manage. Plus, you have all the time you could need. So why not do something valuable with it, like learning about the basic financial terms and management. Read Dave Ramsey’s recommended books, explore Dave Ramsey resources, and talk to your parents about money. By doing your best to learn about money, you’re paving your path toward financial literacy and setting yourself up for success.

Money’s not free

The majority of parents give their teenagers allowances or pay for things directly. Dave Ramsey considers this a disadvantage because it hardly helps to prepare those teens for when they’re out in the “real world”. In the real world, money doesn’t come from mom’s and dad’s back pockets, and no one’s going to give it to you just for breathing. We all need to work for it.

For instance, you can earn some pocket money by getting a summer job: you can mow lawns, walk or look after your neighbors’ pets, wash cars, babysit, etc. You can even ask your parents to help you start an online business.

Besides the most obvious one of earning and having your own money to spend, getting a summer job as a teen carries many other benefits. For starters, it will offer you greater independence and empowerment. Secondly, you’ll learn good time-management and organizational skills. But perhaps the most important benefit is that it will help you see the link between hard work and dollars earned. In turn, you will have a chance to learn how to manage money effectively. You’ll learn how to save and spend wisely because you know that money is finite, and you’ve worked hard for it. This gives you a massive advantage as you enter the world of adulthood.

Make money count

You may receive money from a part-time job, allowance, or birthday gifts. When considering how you will use your money, Dave Ramsey’s advice for teenagers is that you learn to consider three broad categories – saving, spending, and giving. If a portion of any money you receive is directed to each of these categories, you will begin developing healthy habits of handling money.

Save a little

By now, you’ve probably earned some money. Or perhaps you received it as a from your relatives, or as an allowance from your parents. Having money, however, doesn’t mean that you need to burn a hole through your pocket. Instead, you need to get into the habit of saving, and the best time to start is now. The reason? Well, the more you grow older, the harder it gets to save even 10% of your money. This is primarily because you start to have more and more expenses, and your goals become more and more pricey. 

Person placing money in pocket.
Make saving your money a habit.

If you don’t know how to start, Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps got you covered. Mainly, it starts with setting up a budget and not spending your dollars on every bout of want-itis you go through. Dave says: “It is human nature to want it and want it now; it is also a sign of immaturity. Being willing to delay pleasure for a greater result is a sign of maturity.”

It also starts with a mission. According to Ramsey: “Savings without a mission is garbage. Your money needs to work for you, not lie around you.” For instance, you may want to be able to buy a car by the time you are 16. You’ll work weekends and nights because you know what you’re fighting for and that your effort will pay off. Meanwhile, you’ll learn sacrifice, patience, and delayed gratification. And, when you finally get the chance to sit in your newly bought car, you will drive it much differently than your peers who were just given cars. Everything changes when you’re the one doing it.

Spend a little

“Someone who never has fun with money misses the point.”, says Dave Ramsey. And he’s right. You’ve worked for your money, so you should be able to enjoy it. But be careful, as you start to spend, you will start to feel that money is finite. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. That’s it. But this will help you learn how to spend wisely. 

  • Create a budget. You need to have a budget to control your expenses. For example, having a car will require you to budget for gas, repairs, and insurance.
  • Track your spending. Recording your expenses and categorizing them will help to establish and stay on a budget. Secondly, you’ll know where you’re spending most of your money. You might find that a lot of it goes on trivial things. For instance, you may have a habit of making weekly mall runs, or your local coffee shop has your order memorized. Tracking your spending will help you correct that and create better money habits.
  • Act your wage. Don’t spend money you do not have on the things you cannot afford. Whether you’re fifteen or fifty, it’s never a smart move.
  • Set up bank accounts. Remember when you lost your first tooth? Or when you finally got your driving license? Well, setting up your first bank account is another rite of passage. Plus, you have probably outgrown that piggy bank your parents got you for your first birthday. You know what this means—it is time for a real bank account! This will entirely change your saving and spending habits. 

Give a little

One of the most important tips Dave Ramsey could give to a teenager is to learn to appreciate and understand the power of giving at an early age. One simply cannot go wrong with that one. Something changes in your heart and spirit when you become a giver. By living with an open-handed mentality, people tend to focus less on themselves and see the needs of others more. It feels good, and you come to understand and appreciate what you have.

Person holding change in her hands.
Giving is not only an important money lesson, but it also changes your heart.

Think carefully about college

With student loan debt on the rise, many teens may decide to delay college. And with skyrocketing college expenses, many of them may opt for community college. For this reason, if you know you want to go to college, you need to think and plan carefully about each and every aspect of it. Student loans are the highest source of debt for those ages 18 to 24, so you might prefer devising a savings plan as soon as possible to avoid getting into debt. For instance, the 529 College Savings Plan is a strategy many experts recommend. You can also apply for grants and scholarships or inquire about paid internships.

Make sure to account for the move as well

Don’t forget to account for other things as well – such as moving out of your parents’ house. Even if you should attend a local college, you may want to move and become more independent. In that case, you’ll need to be able to stand on your own two feet, which is a lot of stress. If you are moving locally, the key ways to avoid stress include planning and hiring an experienced moving company for your relocation. But mainly, once you’ve got the money part figured out, everything else will fall into place.

Build credit

Of course, you’ll want to establish good credit, but using credit cards comes with a list of risks and responsibilities. Understanding these risks and responsibilities early will help you avoid stacking up debt in the future. Next, you need to understand exactly what makes up a credit score. So, sit down with your parents, and start asking questions. Also, consider asking them to add you as an authorized user on their credit card or opening a starter credit card for yourself. This will help you to not only build credit but also learn some priceless money management skills and responsibilities.

Final words

Helping youngsters grow into successful adults who know how to handle money and avoid debt is what Dave Ramsey and “Dave Ramsey for Teens” are all about. Take it from this multi-millionaire and financial guru: “Money is like a beautiful thoroughbred horse-—very powerful and always in action. But unless this horse is trained when very young, it will be an out-of-control and dangerous animal when it grows to maturity.”, Dave Ramsey says. It’s behavior and head knowledge that helps you win with money, but you need to start at a very young age to grow into a successful individual leading a very happy life.

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