Giving Kids a Head Start on Financial Success

First, learn the basics. Then set a good example for your children.

Laura Levine is executive director of Jump$tart, a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of pre-kindergarten through college-age youth.

Do Americans have a good handle on their personal finances? The financial crisis opened consumers' eyes to how much there is to know and how important it is to pay attention. Many consumers took on obligations that they didn't fully understand, with a false sense of security that if the product was legitimate and the company well-known, nothing could go wrong. We need to protect consumers better, but consumers also need to be better educated.

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Jennifer Schonberger
Staff Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance