By Jordan Mazza

 

PROVIDENCE, RI (WLNE) -- When it comes to managing your dollars, it can be hard to make sense of it all.

"Trying to learn what financial literacy is on top of being a college student, on top of homework, on top of a 30–hour job – it's crazy, man," said college student Brian Bailey.

"Maybe if I had known that ten years ago I would've started saving earlier," said college student Afton Chavez. "And maybe I'd have more in savings and not be just living paycheck–to–paycheck."

Now State Treasurer Seth Magaziner is advocating for a bill that would require financial literacy courses in all Rhode Island public high schools.

He points to a study showing Rhode Islanders have the second-highest average student debt burden in America.

One of the bill's sponsors says the push is coming from students themselves.

"All these students have been actually the advocates and the ones that are advocating for this to happen," said Sen. Sandra Cano, (D) Pawtucket. "They understand that it could change their lives and they understand how important it is for their future."

Current Bucknell University student Kip Hallagan says his East Greenwich high elective course helped him avoid predatory loans.

"Your ability to make important financial decisions on the day–to–day can really make or break your financial health and your ability to move positively through society," Hallagan said.

Thirty-six states already require financial literacy education in public high schools.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019