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Tennessee students becoming more financially savvy one class at a time

In the last few years, the tough economy has affected millions of families in Tennessee and all across the country. Although unemployment and other factors have contributed to the economic crisis, some believe a lack of knowledge in financial matters may have also contributed.

Tennessee is often ranked near the top of the charts each year for states with the highest amount of bankruptcy filings. In 2007 and 2008, the state ranked number one and in 2009, the state trailed only Nevada and has remained in that spot this year as well.

Politicians are now trying to help students become more financially savvy by creating a program known as the Tennessee diploma project. Beginning in 2013, all state high school students will be required to take and pass a personal finance class.

Some schools have already been offering the class for the past three years. The idea is to help students understand money specifics, like how to get a loan, buy insurance or manage credit card debt. The course addresses the necessary values that go along with personal finance.

The course surely is an outgrowth of the economic downturn Tennessee and other states have experienced since the recession began. While it is laudable that the schools are targeting personal finance issues in order to make students better informed, not all economic hardships are the sole result of poor planning. Sometimes people suffer due to no fault of their own, which often happens from circumstances beyond their control.

The poor housing market, combined with unemployment and spiraling credit card debt has left many people struggling financially. Those who continue to suffer may benefit from consulting a Tennessee attorney well versed in debt relief strategies, including filing for bankruptcy protection. The lawyer can assist in reviewing all of the circumstances, offer objective advice as to the manner in which to proceed and help craft a plan designed to achieve financial security once again.

Source: Tri Cities, "Washington County, Johnson City schools offerings classes on financial responsibility," Lizz Marrs, Nov. 11, 2011

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