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Do you think you would have benefited from taking a personal finance class?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on September 19, 2007

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Photo of Tara Welch

“Yes, in college or even high school. The sooner you get to know those things, the better. You definitely need to know them before you get your first real job.”

Photo of Andrew Thomas

“Yeah. I don’t think it could ever hurt. You’re always going to be dealing with money, no matter what you do. You always need to know where all your finances meet up and what’s getting lost in between the cracks.”

Photo of Joanie Bauman

“Absolutely, because I’m not a very good money manager. Thank God I have a husband who is. I think it’s definitely a skill students need to have.”

Photo of Victor Haskins

“Actually I already took one. I’m sure I didn’t learn everything, but it certainly got me into thinking about what I need to be doing with my money in the future.”


sharron5rs 10 years, 7 months ago

Yes!! May if started in grade school it would have sunk in and made my life alot easier.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Ahoy mates! Been there, done that. I now need a class teaching me how to keep the shopping gene under control. I might be able to do so if I thought the punishment was walking the plank!

Its talk like a pirate day!!! All y'all have fun.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

Definitely not. As it is, I know I am no good with money; if I took a personal finance class, then I would know exactly how I am no good with money, and that would be depressing. I prefer the vague knowledge.

Sarah Rahija 10 years, 7 months ago

Personal finance ... I hated that phrase. We took a class called Financial Peace University, by Dave Ramsey, and LOVED it! I hated the word budget and checkbook register, and loved my debit card. However, in the last 6 months we have been using the envelope system, and have paid off a BUNCH of debt, closed a credit card account, and are working our debt snowball on 2/3 of our income before starting FPU. I seriously cannot remember my debit card pin number, and need to reset it at the bank, because I have not used it - that is almost unfathomable to me! I cannot praise this guy and his program (which are not "new ideas", just putting them into a real context) enough! We also learned about insurance, investing, saving, and real estate, negotiating techniques, and things I would not have expected from a "course".

I don't mean to sound like an infomercial, but I am so excited for how this is helping us and others get out of debt, and live within, not beyond our means. They are developing a high school curriculum, that is NOT funded by credit card companies (another surprise to me -- who knew that these companies provided materials just to get their brand recognition in place in the minds of kids?!), teaching teens to budget, and take care of money. I am so thankful that we are teaching our kids this from the early stage (and am excited as I watch others teach their older children a different way of living ... freedom to breathe and not worry about bill collectors, a credit report, car payments, holiday gifts, ... it's a wonderful feeling!

Stew 10 years, 7 months ago

This is something parents should teach their kids. Money is not that diffult to manage if one can control urges and spend wisely. It is really as simple as realizing all one NEEDS is food, clothing, and shelter. And then planning for the future to be able to maintain those needs (i.e., saving for a rainy day [a very foriegn phrase in today's society]). As far as WANTS (which is anything beyond needs), again, saving, saving makes one plan.

trinity 10 years, 7 months ago

argh! umm yeah i took some goofy goofy seminar in around '94 about money management; about a year later i filed a bankruptcy. i'm pretty stubborn.

Kat Christian 10 years, 7 months ago

Well since they've dumbed down high schools they don't have business courses anymore like they use to. When I was in high school many years ago we had a choice of taking - General Math, Commerical Arithmatic or Academic math which included algebra.... or business math which included personal finances, check book writing, budgeting, general accounting, etc. Schools have generalized math geared to scientific and technical arena not realizing everyday people just need to know how to take financial care of themselves. Not look what has happened. No surprise to me. I may not be rich but I do know how to balance a budget, checkbook and keep out of deep debt and I don't use credit cards.

canyon_wren 10 years, 7 months ago

Not having taken one, I really don't know what they teach, so couldn't judge whether I would have benefited. I love keeping track of my finances, but don't know the first thing about investments, etc. However, it is not like I have big chunks of money to invest in anything! I definitely think a course in money management should be required for all high school students, especially if it emphasizes the pitfalls of using credit.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

I suppose I have taken some classes (not in the traditional sense). Have I benefited? Time will tell.

Fatty_McButterpants 10 years, 7 months ago

Actually, I contacted KU about providing a class to students who are not business or finance majors that would cover things like: insurance, personal finances, mortgages, loans, etc. so the graduates would be well-rounded and able to function literately in today's society. Afterall, the function of a liberal arts degree (yes, I know not everyone is a liberal arts major) is to produce a well-rounded education. Besides the fact that most parents don't really address these issues with their children. If they did we wouldn't have record numbers of college students getting into credit fiascos.

Bassetlover 10 years, 7 months ago

The greatest lesson I learned years ago was from my dad when he was lamenting the free-spending lifestyle of my little sister. He said "She has champagne taste on a beer pocketbook." That really stuck with me and has been the compass of my spending habits ever since then.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Good advise, Stew. But it is not really "as simple as realizing all one NEEDS is food, clothing, and shelter." Say you just happen to be in J.C. Penneys, where you happen to see a lovely red leather purse, and it just happens to have silver brads, buckles and pulls, and even a handy-dandy cellphone pocket on the back!!!! Well, you can see the dilemma, right? Also, say you can't boycott the store because . . well, because you have to make a payment on items you previously purchased outside the budget. Walking on by isn't all that simple :):)

countrygirl 10 years, 7 months ago

JCCC has a really good personal finance class taught by Craig Hatch. He actually works for a living and teaches in the evenings. Brings real world experience into the classroom--great instructor.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Soooo, Jane, is part of your job description proofing the LJW comment boards?

btw, the Provost doesn't know me . . except from hearing that there is a woman in Strong Hall who works soooo hard that she occasionally needs to take a 3 or 4 minute break to type a few sentences. Although, "exposing" me to him might be in my favor :):)

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

O-Bob: Running over her comment history just briefly, I would go with the latter option. After a few pages of grouchiness and anger, I did find something that I could agree with her spirit on: that we both despise Fred Phelps. But, again, the operative word seems to be despise. I suppose if someone dislikes everything, eventually you'll find something that the two of you have in common.

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 7 months ago

I be thinkin' it be mighty good to have learning 'bout countin' booty. An'a gittin' more booty. Can't be havin' too much gold and dabloons

Arrrghhh . . . it better be a good learnin' to or the bilge rat'll be warkin' da plank! It sounds pleasin' on teh bill posted at the dock: "A Makin' yer Pilage Work for You."

(lots of Arrrggh going on here today)

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 7 months ago

Oh, ho!! A blige rat's a rearin' 'er ugly head. Jane needs to wark the plank!!

Seriously, Jane, get over yourself. And, please, get back to your own business or don't be such a bore.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

I really do think she was joking, (I don't work for Himself directly :) Working up here one can develop a somewhat skewed sense of humor. Ironically enough, for several weeks I've barely had time to read all y'all's posts let alone add many of my own :{

Grundoon Luna 10 years, 7 months ago

Ah-hem, that would be "BILGE" rat. Seeing as we have picky people on the board today . . .

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Py, as the chief administrative officer, how would you handle such a complaint?

mom_of_three 10 years, 7 months ago

The personal finance class is open to students of any major, according to the article. This is the first year, so it may be in more demand after the article...

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

Py, as my own boss, I'm firing you for spending too much time on OTS.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

Ceal, as my own boss, I'm firing myself for spending too much time on OTS. (I guess, technically, I do have a boss but since I've repeatedly tried to be fired and that's not working, I guess I'll just keep on doing what I darn well please.)

storm 10 years, 7 months ago

A personal finance class is fine as long as it's not sponsored by a bank or other vested interest.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 7 months ago

Ceal, I'm a former Strongie, and let me tell you. Any breaks you can get after trying to park, are well deserved.

Plain Jane, back off. Don't mess with our Ceal gal. Pick on someone your own size (like the little guy from Different Strokes).

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Goots, I know what you mean. Not only did I have to leave for lunch (never wise where parking is concerned) but I left late!!! So I've been circling the building then cruising Memorial Drive, desperately seeking a parking spot. You literally have to wait until someone leaves. All this after paying outrageous parking permit fees.

sue, sounds like your job is pretty secure. Hang on to that boss, he is definitely a keeper :)

I don't think Jane actually knows me, but from the first paragraph of Py's 11:27 post it seems likely that she does :):)

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

University parking is terrible anywhere. The unpleasant parking permit fee was one of the things I really hated about working at Michigan.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Can't mean me. I don't sit at a desk all day!! I'm often found standing by the water cooler or gazing out the window :P Apparently, "Jane" can't sit at a desk all day, therefore does not have computer access all day. I'm disappointed that he/she hasn't noted how many of my posts were after work hours, on weekends, or on lunch and/or morning and afternoon breaks. Since I don't run outside to smoke a cancer stick beside the trash dumpster I have more time to contribute to the OTS posters' attempt to solve the weightier issues of the world.

btw, "Jane," you don't have to sit at a desk to have a fata$$, but then again, you probably already know that.

I'm thinking that if Jane doesn't behave he/she will have to be keel-hauled. Arrgghh!!

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

I'm thinking "Jane" is actually "Nick Danger." Too similar of wording. (And there can't be two people that bitter!)

Ceal, I can't believe you don't have a designated parking spot. That is crazy! "Yes, we want you to show up for work, but good luck finding a place to park. he he he."

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

sue, I know it's hard to believe. If you hear about the university closing down unexpectedly one day you'll know I couldn't find parking and without me nothing could be accomplished!

Jane has me so upset I'm leaving early today.

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

Sue, you should use two "e"s when writing "hee." Writing "he he he" make you seem like you blame the current problem on men.

Unless that was your intention, then by all means carry on.

Oh yeah, pirates! "Ore wa Rufi, kaizofuoo ni naritai otoko da!"

Godot 10 years, 7 months ago

It would have helped me to learn about investing earlier on in life.

I learned about budgeting from my parents; it was the "envelope" method. Cash the paycheck and divvy it up into envelopes: one each for house payment, food, gas, insurance, clothing, fun and savings. First, the savings envelope went into the passbook savings account. Then the envelopes were used for their purpose. When one was empty, that was that until the next paycheck. And, no fair taking money from the other envelopes.

It was really hard, at first. It was so tempting to steal from the other envelopes when I ran out in one. And there were more than a few domestic arguments about who took money from what envelope. But, after a few times of doing that, and coming up short at the end of the month, the lesson was learned.

Ceallach 10 years, 7 months ago

Harridan!!! I love "word" people. Just got in myself, Py. I like to wait until it's pouring to make my dash for home :)

You just "sense" away there, Jane. Let me know how that works out for you.

I am sincerely sorry that you are full of such bitterness, but I'll reserve my sympathy until I see some inkling (no matter how fleeting) of sanity in one of your posts. You do not seem capable of having a reasonable exchange with anyone today.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

Sorry jonas. Was trying to imply a short vowel sound.

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

Oh! I've always found "heh" to be quite effective at that.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 7 months ago

"Gootsie-I now understand your strong disdain for government employees (ku employees qualify), since you used to be one yourself! You should know how people (esp the fata$$ed bitches who sit at a desk all day) screw off on campus when they are being paid to work."

Jane, NEVER think you know what I feel and NEVER think you need to put it into words for me. I do not want someone of your negativity to EVER represent me.

Godot 10 years, 7 months ago

MKlady, I have listened to Ramsay's talk radio show while traveling, and I agree with you. He is completely on the mark, extremely pragmatic.

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