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Penny Hoarder CEO Kyle Taylor advocates for financial literacy in Florida high schools

Megan Holmes

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Click the arrow above to play the St. Pete Catalyst Publisher Joe Hamilton’s interview with Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder.

Last month, Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, wrote to the Florida State Senate in support of a new bill (Senate Bill 114) requiring a half credit class in personal finance and money management.

Financial literacy is an issue of particular importance to Taylor, who began The Penny Hoarder as an anonymous blog detailing the personal finance hacks he had compiled while digging himself out of $50,000 of student loans and credit card debt.

After dropping out of college, Taylor racked up nearly $20,000 in credit card debt while working on political campaigns. “I know all too well how easy it is to get a bunch of credit cards and not know what to do to get out of it,” said Taylor.

But Taylor’s story is not unique. In fact, an average Florida household is burdened by $8,444 in credit card debt. Student loans pose an even larger national problem – total student debt in the United States has now reached $1.5 trillion, nearly three times that of credit card debt.

Taylor and his staff hear from readers about their financial problems every day. The site even has an online community called “Penny Hoarder Community,” an open forum where people can share their own financial tips or get support. Feedback from the Penny Hoarder community, as well as the popularity of Taylor’s site helps him know how widespread a problem that a lack of financial literacy poses. Yet only five states require a stand alone personal finance class for high schoolers.

“I’m excited about it because all of the data shows it matters,” Taylor explained. “We need to be teaching people how to manage their money at an early age.”

Interested in getting involved? Taylor is asking supporters of financial literacy to call their legislators and tell them to support SB 114.

Read Taylor’s full letter here.

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