If you’ve got teenagers who think money grows on trees, maybe they should learn how to plant some.
That’s what Lance Barnard did, and now the Verona teen is sharing what he learned on his new personal finance Web site, Teens Guide To Money. There are sections on earning, saving, investing and spending–in that order–all with the goal of making the next generation of Americans more financially literate than the last.
“A lot of people my age, they don’t have an understanding of what’s going on in the financial world and they don’t know how to manage their money,” says Barnard, who is a junior at Montclair Kimberley Academy and, perhaps not coincidentally, the president of its stock club. “I wanted to learn about finance, and I found that there was no place for teens to go to get information in an unbiased way.”
But if you’re expecting a site written in text-messaging shorthand and emoticons, think again. While Barnard’s primary target is teens, he says anyone is welcome to read it and learn. “I didn’t want to put any teenage slang in it,” says Barnard, “or any references that only a teenager would understand.”
“Teens Guide to Money” has already made an appearance on MKA’s Web site and that of the New Jersey Council Council for Financial Education and Barnard is hoping that other schools will follow. That may be a safe bet: New Jersey has made financial literacy a must in high school curricula and Verona High School has already announced plans to chop Culinary Science to make way for it.
And it may interest you to learn that, focused as he is on understanding money, Barnard says he is not looking to make money from his site. He may not need to: “I manage my own finances,” says Barnard, who intends to pay for part of his college tuition himself with his earnings from snow shoveling, babysitting and other jobs. “I take my advice: I save, not spend.”