As I made my class schedule a few weeks ago I was sad to realize there were no personal finance courses available. I’m enrolled in a Finance course but it’s the usual corporate finance tricky exam questions kind of course. The lack of personal finance education got me thinking about the importance of personal finance education in college.
There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
– Flannery O’Connor
Personal finance lessons should be taught early. Some would argue that high school is the correct time to teach young folks about money management. I think that college is the ideal time because it is your first true taste of freedom. You have the freedom to decide if you will attend class. You have the freedom to get drunk (permitted you are of age of course) when you want. You have the freedom to spend your money any way you would like to. All of this freedom may be too much for a college student. This is why personal finance education is important to teach young people so that they can properly manage their money and make optimal decisions for their future.
The importance of personal finance can not be understated. There are many common myths about personal finance in college that need to be flushed down with the water you chug after a night of drinking. College students need to realize that they can’t solely relying on “making a boatload of money” one day as their means of financial preparing themselves for the future. Sure you will make more money once you graduate from college but that shouldn’t be used as rationalization for racking up debt now.
Personal finance basics in college should consist of a variety of topics. You can not teach personal finance basics without mentioning opportunity cost, frugality, spending less than you earn, and the value of doing things yourself. Personal finance facts are essential to absorb before college students spiral out of control with their finances. College is a time where many people will acquire debt that requires them many years to pay off.
In the more advanced personal finance course in college you could discuss topics such as; debt reduction, student debt loan consolidation, investing in yourself, moving up in your career, investing in real estate, and much more. By offering basic and advanced personal finance education in college a majority of college graduates would have a great wealth of information that would save them from many potential mistakes in the future.
We can’t all just listen to what Suze Orman says about personal finance. We need to learn about managing money from an early age so that we can develop our own thoughts before relying on so called “experts” to come rescue us. Dave Ramsey can help us get out of debt but college students need personal finance education to avoid relying on the work of Ramsey in their late 20s to help them pay off their debt.
Do you guys agree that there should be personal finance education in college?