Why BC High Needs a Finance Club

A basic understanding of finance could create stable financial futures for students

Tyler Kwong ‘23, Features Editor

Supposedly, The Green Light Debit Card educates children, as young as five years old, on how to save money and spend wisely, but this is far from the truth. Three of my high school friends have these cards, and all of them have had their balances hit near zero due to purchasing garbage like computer mouses, digital currencies such as bitcoin, video game skins, shoes, gambling websites, and other garbage. Green light kids constantly ask their parents to reload money onto their card, while learning that their parents are a personal piggy bank who are always there to provide. Even worse, some friends with regular debit cards have had their balances go below the minimum amount of money required to keep their checking accounts open. To avoid the wrath of their parents, friends would plead to others to load money onto their accounts. This stark reality exemplifies how financially unready many students are at BC High and why BC high needs a finance club or course. 

In a personal finance course, students would learn how to save for retirement. The average retirement savings for people ages 65-69 is only $203,964. This is quite small compared to the much more lavish lifestyles of students at BC High. Even more astonishing, the median savings for the same age group is $0.00; not propped up by the wealthy 1% savings rate of $2,683,000. Today, many Americans who held well paying jobs are forced to rely on their measly Social Security checks as their main source of income because of their inadequate contributions to a savings account. In the future, social security is projected to become insolvent by 2035, so it is imperative that students learn how to save a sufficient amount of money for their retirement. A finance course would teach students how important saving for retirement is and how regular deposits in a 401k can greatly benefit them later on.

Americans are known worldwide for our poor financial habits, exorbitant spending, credit card debt, and wasting money on useless garbage. Many students purchase expensive PCs that require yearly upgrades, subscriptions, the games, and maintenance required; a total amount sometimes ranging well over $10,000. Instead of spending $10,000 on luxuries, what if one were to enter the market. An initial investment of $10,000, compounded over 20 years at a 10% interest rate, generates a total of over $67,000, which can be used for a car, a vacation fund, or even a house. Furthermore, $10,000 compounded over 50 years results in $1,173,908; an extremely cushy retirement when compared to living off of social security. In a personal finance course, students would learn how to spend wisely, manage a budget and invest for the long term. 

A finance course or club would greatly benefit the students of BC High. A basic understanding of finance could create stable financial futures for students later on in life or even while in high school. A summer job could create a fortune when compounded by the stock market. The students of BC High can all become millionaires with time, work, frugality, and investment.