I have started a new adventure this past semester as an Adjunct Professor at UNK teaching a Personal Finance class. Jeremy Armagost of Wealth Plan Partners and I agreed to each teach a class for the College of Business and Technology. I joked with the Dean that most advisors seem to write a book, record a podcast, or teach a college class. So, I liked this option the best for me.
The focus of the class is to introduce the students to many of the life experiences that they will start encountering during their lifetime. I have made the students pull up their credit report, track their weekly spending, and assemble a personal financial statement. We have had a car finance manager speak to the class and also a mortgage lender with tips on buying their first home. Both speakers emphasized the need for good credit and said the phrase “Credit Score” umpteen times to the class.
We plan on many more exercises throughout the semester and we haven’t even started talking about my favorite topic of investments yet.
The point that I keep emphasizing to the students is CHOICE. We make choices every day that can affect us the rest of our lives.
Fries or a salad?
Spring break or work?
New car or used?
Apartment or the dorm?
By being a student at UNK, they have already made a big life decision of going to a college in Nebraska. Now they have to continue to make good decisions when it comes to getting a job, where they live, how much debt, how big of a home, how to save for retirement/kids/emergencies, etc… These choices are not just limited to twenty-year-olds. We all continue to make decisions:
How much should we save for college?
How much do I need to save for retirement?
Should we buy a new boat?
When should I take Social Security?
How much should we give to our church?
I think sometimes people make quick decisions that may come back to financially haunt them for the rest of their lives. Think of the amount of interest that we pay on credit card debt way after that shiny object we purchased is in the trash. So just remember that each decision we make has consequences. Some may be good while others may be bad. Put a focus on making good long-term financial decisions and you will be a lot happier (and richer) throughout your life.