NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Overdrawn bank accounts, poor credit ratings, low savings, inadequate retirement funds are all financial problems facing many adults.
High school students are learning how to avoid the money pits by participating in a special program.
Nacogdoches High School freshman Valerie Rosales is learning something a lot of adults don't know.
"There are a lot of things I have that I really don't need," said Valerie Rosales, an NHS freshman.
A financial literacy program helps Valerie and other teens learn how to scale back.
"Now that you have an idea of your needs and wants pick the two decisions that will help you save $100 this month," a computer program said.
Eating out less and renting movies instead of going out is a start, but it's not enough.
"You still have another $50 to go," the program stated.
It's better to learn how to manage money in a high school marketing class than in the dog-eat-dog world.
"It gives them an opportunity to look at those things in a simulated environment before they make decisions in the real world," said Stacy Dicks, a marketing teacher at NHS.
The EverFit Financial Literacy computer program is purchased and distributed to schools by Austin Bank. They call it S.T.A.R.S. for Saving Techniques and Responsible Spending.
"There was like a generation skipped on being educated on how to balance a checkbook, the simplest of things," said Tone Rhodes, a customer service representative for Austin bank. "And they don't seem to understand they do need to save for their retirement and how to budget."
Certified students may not have their first job, but they know what to do when they get it.
"It's really important, especially the credit and investments because, you know, retirement is important for everybody, and so are taxes because it's all something we have to do," said Duncan Farrish, an NHS sophomore.
It's a start to becoming the financially responsible citizens of tomorrow.
Each student completing the "financial literacy program" is presented a $25 gift certificate to open up an account with Austin Bank.
The financial institute has purchased the software program for five East Texas high schools.
Schools interested in participating should contact Austin Bank.
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