U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew recently said in a prepared statement for the Financial Literacy Education Commission that it is crucial for Americans to develop basic financial literacy and learn to manage their finances.
“We need to make sure young people can make smart decisions about what financial products to use,” Lew said. “That young people can plan and save for the long term while managing expenses and debt in the short-term; and that they can handle income shocks while still achieving their personal and financial goals.
Lew said it is important to begin financial education for children early in life.
“By starting young, children can learn the difference between wants and needs, the importance and power of saving, and the positive and productive role carefully managing money can play in their lives,” Lew said. “That is why many experts, including the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, have recommended that financial education be integrated into the school day.”
Lew’s statements echoes similar statements made by top government and agency officials, including CFPB Director Richard Cordray.