Financial literacy is about much more than balancing one's (online) checkbook. Financial literacy represents a cross-curricular mindset, a sophisticated understanding of how money, media, and messaging unite in the public sphere.
Courses in economics or life planning typically target high school students in order to instill values of earning and saving. These are noble and much-needed goals. Authentic financial instruction, however, should begin much earlier, as children first become aware of sales taxes on their lollipops and marquee ads during the Superbowl. True financial literacy embodies the cross-section between business and consumerism, entrepreneurship and federalism, investing and gambling.