Late last year, there was a post published in the Huffington Post’s Money Blog. The post—written by Ben Mulling, the chief financial officer at TENTE Casters, Inc.— details the Four Steps to Educating Students about Personal Finance.
Mulling’s main message of the post is that college students must take personal accountability for educating themselves about finances. He believes that this lack of personal finance education is what leads students to make so many financial mistakes early on in their lives. Mulling cites that only 22 percent of students understand how income taxes work, and only 31 percent understand how credit card interest works.
Mulling’s message of the post resonated more so with me now than ever. Less than three months from now, some of my very close friends will walk away with bachelors degrees. They’ll also walk away with a substantial amount of student loans to pay back; some of them will also walk away with credit card debt.
Students are ultimately responsible for educating themselves about personal finances. Whether it’s getting a job through their college years, opening a savings account, filing taxes, or buying saving bonds, it’s up to the student to fully understand the financial consequence and effects of these decisions.
Personal finance, however, is not the subject students are jumping and down to learn.
Perhaps the most helpful piece of advice that Mulling offered in his article was for students to force themselves to take personal finance classes in college.
In college, students obviously see the world in a different way than when they were in high school. Which means that college students also have a different view on personal finance than high school students.
According to Mulling, money problems are often a leading cause of stress in adult life. If students take the time to educate themselves about finances now, they will be knowledgeable about taking care of their money while they are growing up.