This article was sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. www.MassMutual.com. All opinions are those of the author.
Last summer my daughter (then 11) held her first job working as an intern in her future middle school garden. For four weeks she trading in sleeping late to working for a few hours in a garden and making lunch from produce in the garden alongside classmates. At the completion of the internship she received $100 and I asked her what we should do with it. Without skipping a beat she said she wanted to go to the bank and deposit it in her savings account. And maybe get a new book. I silently gave myself a high five. She was listening the many times I talked with her about saving and college and saving for the things we want. I wonder how many times I’ve mentioned to her that money doesn’t grow on trees!
Unfortunately, conversations about money or savings weren’t discussed in my home growing up and I feel like I missed out on crucial financial knowledge. When I was finally on my own making my own decisions relating to the money I was making I made many mistakes and racked up thousands in credit card and student loan debt that I am still paying back. I hope through educating my daughter young she’ll be equipped with a solid financial education that will enable her to live the life she wants.
I’m not alone in my desire to raise a financially smart child and I’m excited to see that the MassMutual Foundation is dedicated to bring financial education to thousands of middle and high school students around the country. Through their nationwide initiative, FutureSmart Challenge, now in its fifth year, provides in classroom education, community events and the FutureSmart app to kids with a goal of reaching 2 million students by 2020. Imagine if we could educate 2 million students on financial education? The MassMutual Foundation believes this is the key to economic opportunity.
FutureSmart helped me learn about things such as credit or debit cards. At the beginning I couldn’t even tell the difference, but now I am prepared to take them on. This course has helped me to worry less about the future. – Massachusetts, FutureSmart Student
I joined MassMutual at the historic TD Garden at their 2018 Boston FutureSmart Challenge along with hundreds of Greater Boston middle school students. I’d been to the arena for my share of concerts and family focused event, but never to sit on the court with giggles of kids, it was a real experience! Talking with kids about money may not be on the top of their most exciting list, so to make the information exciting and palatable the FutureSmart Challenge brings along New York Times bestseller, actor and motivational speaker Hill Harper. Hill studied at Harvard Law School and Harvard University and based on his attire, seemed like he has a special place in his heart for Boston.
Kids? Check. Huge arena? Check. Music? Check. Motivational Speaker? Check. The interactive event includes Hill talking with students about smart money vs dumb money presenting the information in a relatable and timely way. He got in the crowd and went to speak with students which was really great and also had surprise freebies. Other than a morning off of school, I hope the students left with some ideas of ways they could take control over their finances and desire to make smart money decisions.
FutureSmart is a phenomenal program I wish was around when I was younger! If you’re interested in bringing the program to your school, click here.