ANCHOR LEAD: How strong is your teen's money management skills? Believe it or not… painfully average when compared to the world stage. It's back-to-school time, and Brian Osuch (Oh-such) finds out how financial literacy is one lesson that requires quite a bit of homework. (:60)
SCRIPT: Money Sense, I'm Brian Osuch. A recent financial literacy exam compared the knowledge of 15-year old students from 18 different countries. U.S. students came in ninth with fewer than 10% finishing in the top performance category. Ted Beck of the National Endowment for Financial Education or (NEFE) says we need to make financial literacy a national priority.
CUT: (Beck) It starts with the parent, explain to them how the economics of your family works. When you're at the ATM, explain how money got in there. Or if you're paying bills, show them this is how we pay for things like light and heat. And then that combines with a good and strong financial program in schools.
SCRIPT: Beck says there are a few common pitfalls young people make when they first head out on their own.
CUT: (Beck) Failure to make a budget that's realistic, not setting aside an emergency fund… also, not understanding how credit cards work. And the risk of missing a payment or having a late payment. That can negatively affect your credit score and that's something you may have to live with for a long time. Also, if you have debt… having a plan to pay it off and minimize it.
SCRIPT: For more, go to SmartAboutMoney.org. That's Money Sense from NEFE.
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