While most 11-year-old boys are thumbs deep in a video game, Caden Harris is busy running a crowdfunding campaign so that he can help other young adults learn about the power of financial literacy. And, he’s CEO of his own financial education company — Caden Teaches.
“Financial literacy should be important to young people so that they know how to earn money, grow it, invest, and help other people,” Harris told Finurah. “Many people say that money isn’t everything, but what I have found is that it takes money to do literally everything.”
The Atlanta resident recently purchased a 54-seat passenger bus that he plans to create a mobile financial literacy center. Harris envisions the bus is equipped with onboard tablets and other forms of technology to teach children how to budget their money, establish a bank account, and even invest their earnings.
Harris will use the bus to travel to schools and local youth organizations such as the Boys & Girls club to offer financial literary classes.
Harris first began learning about financial literacy through his father. He wanted to share financial literacy resources with other children and launched a website, Daddy Did You Know, featuring an online financial education course for kids, “Understanding Money.”
His website also promotes over 12 products including the books “Caden’s Rich Kid Guide” and “I’m Not Going To Argue With You,” as well as a budgeting puzzle and financial literacy flashcards. Harris also travels to schools and organizations to share information about financial literacy and hosts a YouTube channel, Caden Teaches Finance.
“Studies show that kids retain more knowledge when they can not only learn by listening but to actually have an experience where they can do something hands-on,” Harris said. “My goal is to teach over 5,000 kids so this bus will definitely help me reach my goal faster.”
But first, he needs to raise funds to renovate the bus so that it can be a resource to his community. Harris and his mother Tara have launched a GoFundMe with the goal of raising $30,000.
Making a Case For Financial Literacy
Financial literacy is a person’s ability to understand tools such as budgeting and investing to maintain and even enhance their lives. Several national surveys have revealed that basic understanding of personal finance is low in the U.S., with gaps existing between racial and ethnic groups. In particular, Black, Latino, and Native Americans have lower rates of financial literacy, while white and Asian Americans often possess higher rates.
Earlier this year, TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America) Institute released data revealing the financial state of adults, about 50 percent of Americans surveyed were able to answer half the financial literacy questions correctly. Another 20 percent managed to answer less than 25 percent of the questions correctly.
The survey also showed that 26 percent of adults were not satisfied with their financial status, and another 30 percent were unable to handle an unexpected expense of more than $2,000 within a month.
These results demonstrate the need for greater financial literacy in the United States, especially among young adults.
“In learning financial literacy I learned that it’s much better to do things together than alone,” Harris said. “My crowdfund allows the community to get involved so when they see my bus riding around town they can say, ‘Hey! I was a part of making that happen.’”