School’s out and camp is in. Across the country, kids are playing tennis, fishing, swimming, horseback riding, and kicking, throwing or hitting every type of ball imaginable. They’ll also be learning other valuable lessons, like how to get along with different personalities and the value of an active lifestyle.
Lots of grown-ups could benefit from that kind of life-skill-building experience too. Here are some summer camps we’d like to see that would help adults learn how to handle money:
Financial Arts Camp – Creating a solid financial footing is a lot like summer camp craft-making. You start out with a lot of pieces that may not look like much at first, and it takes time, patience, creativity and the ability to follow complex directions to make something out of all those parts. Financial Arts Camp would help adults understand how all those pieces come together to build the smart money management that leads to financial health.
Credit Slam Dunk Camp – At dunk camps, kids learn to do one thing well – put a basketball through a hoop – but that one thing is a key requirement for scoring well in the game. Your credit score is the same. It’s just one piece of your financial well-being, but it’s an important one. If you don’t know how to handle your credit, you’ll wind up missing the shot more often than not when you decide to use it, and that can leave you with a low score. A low credit score can make it very difficult to “win” when it comes to your finances.
Investment Invention – Invention camps teach kids the basics of engineering, mechanics and physics. Investment Invention camps would teach adults the basics of investing, including the mechanics of how the stock market works, how to engineer an investment plan that achieves their goals and the physics of how their investment strategy will affect their wallet throughout their lives.
Savings CPR – Kids as young as 5 or 6 years old can learn basic lifesaving skills, and many teens know CPR. Plenty of adult Americans could use some resuscitation help with their savings habits. In June, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the personal saving rate in May was 3.9 percent of disposable income. [e1] There’s no downside in getting your personal savings rate higher than the average. Savings CPR would teach adults the basic skills they need to know to breathe new life into their savings habits.
Of course, you probably won’t see these camps opening up any time soon, but you can find plenty of help if you want to take control of your finances. From online courses and community college offerings, to tips and hints on government websites, college and university sites and even consumer companies like Experian. There’s plenty of good information out there. It’s up to you to find the “camp” that works for you.