Young people love social media! From Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to TikTok, social media has become the preferred communication and entertainment medium for most Gen Zers (those born after 1996). Fortunately, four high school seniors in Charlotte, North Carolina are working hard to ensure that fellow Gen Zers have social media access to personal financial literacy! Tickets2TheFuture, a nonprofit created to promote financial education, uses high school volunteers to develop social media content and in-person presentations and events featuring financial experts, to teach others about financial and economic topics.
Breaking Down Money Taboos
Having young people teach their peers about finance and economics is invaluable because it helps break down sociocultural barriers around money. In American culture, the vast majority of the population dislikes talking about money. Unfortunately, this has led to a substantial percentage of Americans not accurately knowing their family income or net worth! “Money taboos” are common and reinforced from a very young age when parents tell children that it is impolite and improper to talk about money.
Money taboos are allegedly one of the most prominent reinforcers of the gender pay gap. Many women may not know that they are being paid less than men for the same work, especially when employers tell workers not to discuss their pay with each other. If people are uncomfortable talking about money, they are not likely to actively pursue personal financial literacy independently. Unfortunately, this leads to a lot of silence. Despite the growing number of states requiring high school students to take a personal financial literacy course to graduate, most Americans still think parents should have the primary responsibility to teach kids about money…even though 31 percent of all parents never talk to their kids about money.
Teens Teaching Peers Will Erase Barriers
Having teenagers teach important finance concepts to their peers will help erase some existing money taboo barriers. It is crucial that financial literacy begins early and is not seen as solely an adult skill that can be mastered later. Waiting until college or later is not a good idea, and it’s never too early to begin learning about money, finance, and economics. Breaking down the misconception that financial knowledge is something for older people will help teens and young adults take control of their budgeting, investing, and financial planning. Many young people may also be intimidated by learning about finances. Seeing that other young people have mastered the subject and are comfortable with it can instill confidence and lead to widespread acceptance of the belief that all teens should learn personal financial literacy.
Other Examples of Personal Finance on Social Media
In addition to the young folks on Tickets2TheFuture, several other groups of young people are active on social media, teaching others about money and finance. They can be found on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, covering all personal finance topics. Some post informative videos about the basics of money, budgeting, investing, and taxes, while others have more in-depth videos about entrepreneurship (starting your own business), side hustles, debt management, and passive income. Where Tickets2TheFuture goes above and beyond is bringing in financial experts and hosting in-person events.
While watching personal finance influencers may be interesting, educate yourself using news, educational, and nonprofit resources before trying their tips and tricks. Tickets2TheFuture is working to educate young people, but some self-proclaimed finance gurus on the Internet may be focused more on entertainment than education. Therefore, it’s important to start learning the basics about personal financial literacy before adopting advice from anyone online who seems to be more focused on flash and entertainment than education. Best of luck to everyone at Tickets2TheFuture!