10.6.14

FINANCIAL FITNESS FOR COLLEGIANS.

In my work with Econ Illinois, I had ample opportunity to introduce Learning, Earning, and Investing and Financial Fitness for Life to elementary and high school teachers.  The Center for Economic Education is part of the Financial Literacy Collaborative at Northern Illinois.  Aleister of College Insurrection muses on the value to collegians of knowing personal finance.  In Oregon, some students are catching on.
[Portland State's] personal finance class doesn't require knowledge of Excel or 70-year projections of saving and spending. But it does require students to prepare their own financial plan.

They start by setting short-, intermediate- and long-term goals; picking their ideal job; researching how much income they'll make in that career after two years and drafting a resume for the job search.

Part 2 requires them to get a grasp of their current financial picture. They estimate their net worth, obtain their credit report or FICO score and take stock of their insurance coverage. They complete a detailed worksheet comparing renting with buying.

They also go on a "Dollar Diet," writing down what they think they spend on food, transportation and other categories. Then they track what they actually spend for a month. The exercise changed some behaviors.
The course is required of business minors, but not yet of business majors (or, as far as I can tell, students in food science or fashion merchandising).  The act of keeping track of where the money is going concentrates the mind.  Perhaps those students will more actively request receipts of vendors, a practice too often honored in the breach by all too many businesses.

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