WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The State of Georgia wants to send soon-to-be adults into the real world prepared to make good decisions about their finances. To do that, they'll soon require high school juniors and seniors to take personal finance classes.
"Well, in high school we did have a check-balancing class. I remember that class. It’s been many moons ago, but I do remember that class," Shakami Johnson laughed.
Since then, Johnson has had to pass down her financial knowhow to her sons.
"The importance of saving money -- which I know is hard, which I know is hard because when you save money, something comes up -- It’s very important to manage money, try and manage the best you can," she said.
In 2024, Georgia schools will try and help teach some of those things requiring high school juniors and seniors to take a personal finance class to graduate.
"They need to know how to manage and budget their money effectively, so that class, I am all for them offering that class," the mother said.
Balancing budgets, understanding pay stubs and tax forms, as well as building credit will be the newest ways student will use numbers.
Sherri Goss, a financial advisor, says she sees a lot of adults in debt and believes this could help students make better choices.
"Learning and understanding not getting into too much debt and paying debt off is a big lesson that kids need to learn to avoid that,” the financial advisor said.
Courses will also teach about student loan applications.
“Teaching kids the dangers of student loans is huge, and I hope that what they also teach in this course is you can go to Central Georgia Technical College, for example, and there are 17 career programs that are absolutely free and you don’t even have to go into a bunch of debt,” she explained.
Goss says she helped her daughter create, review, and stick to a budget and it's something parents could practice at home.
"I would highly recommend at least a few months of that, if not the entire senior year of giving your kids a budget and then choosing their own spending," Goss said.
This law makes Georgia the 13th state to mandate personal finance education for students.