Tuesday, July 17, 2007

it should be required...I say!

I have always felt that a class on finances should be required before someone can graduate from high school. I mean, it's required that we take typing and home economics, but not a class on how to manage money for the rest of our lives.

I can tell you, when I graduated from high school...I didn't know a thing about money and how to manage it. I learned though. I went to college and graduate school. Did being in those places teach me about finances and money management? Nope. You know what did...getting into a little bit of credit card debt and a lot of educational debt.

I paid off all my credit card debt back in 2002 or so...and haven't paid a penny in interest since then. I have written before that for my school loans, I am supposed to be paying them back until 2032. That's crazy, eh? Right now, I am on course to have those loans paid off by 2010.

Now of course...paying off debt means learning to live on a budget. I track every single penny I spend. I pay off all my bills when I get paid...before I spend it on anything else. I have also really oodles and oodles of books and websites on finances, etc. Of course, I had to learn all this stuff on my own...instead of taking a class in high school and going out into the world prepared financially.
Get your budget into shape could be the name of the course....or Your Financial Roadmap. It could cover savings, retirement, loans, mortgages and of course credit cards.

Here is a great example. I went for a walk with a co-worker this afternoon. She and her boyfriend are pretty young. She wanted to know if her boyfriend should take a credit card with a 20% rate. I gave her quite a shocked look. I asked her if she would buy something if you had to pay an extra 20 cents for every dollar. She said no. Well then, don't take the card.

Who is supposed to teach people this?? I mean...we all make money and need to manage it. Why shouldn't we be taught how to actually do it??? I just don't get it.

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