What’s wrong with financial education today?

by | Jul 28, 2020

There are some things from school that I’m pretty sure I’m never going to use again: geometric proofs, the detailed history of Mesopotamia, the one semester of French I took in college. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the critical thinking skills I’m sure I must have gained studying these things. But as I stumble into adulthood, there are some things I wish I’d learned during all the time I spent in a classroom. 

The first few months of my post-graduate life have been in a crash course in one particular subject — money management. 

In college, I had a relatively simple system: Check account balance. Confirm that account balance is greater than $0.00. Buy the thing. Deposit check from part-time job to keep balance above $0.00. Repeat.

But since graduating in May, it’s a whole new ball game: How much can I afford in rent each month? How can I save on groceries? How the heck am I supposed to apply for a credit card? What is an emergency fund — am I supposed to have one? 

And I really wish that sometime, somewhere, someone had sat me down and drilled those kinds of questions with the same rigor my biology teacher used when teaching the stages of mitosis or the function of the Golgi body.

That’s the thing about financial education these days: at best, it’s poorly implemented and just plain boring (see: the monotonous three-hour finance lecture that inspired Zogo CEO Bolun Li to start this company). But most of the time, you just don’t get it at all.

And financial education is too important to fall through the cracks. Our skills in this subject affect our quality of life and our livelihoods — so why are so many of us still just figuring it out as we go?

It’s not enough to just make an effort with lackluster workshops or uninteresting classes. Lessons in financial literacy should be fun, engaging and accessible.

Financial education may be in a sorry state in this country, but Zogo wants to fix it. That’s why we created our gamified app with over 300 financial literacy modules to help our users learn important financial lessons anytime, anywhere. It’s one way we work to inspire the underbanked to become financially savvy — and so far, we have over 60,000 users and more than 25 financial institutions onboard. 

How did you learn about personal finance growing up — and how is your institution working to offer financial education today?

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