New Class Helps Students Learn Personal Finance

Image: Financial stressPapers fill your tiny dining room table, eliminating any sanity you might have had.  How could a perfectly normal wooden table look like a snowstorm hit it? The answer is simple and you know it: bills, loans, credit card debt, and the nightmare that comes with them. It hasn’t even been a full year since you graduated and your brain feels like it will explode. You close your eyes in submission and pray that your next paycheck will be enough to cover your bills, needs and wants. Silently, you wish that someone had helped you learn to manage your money more efficiently.

Many students fail to fully grasp that knowing how to managing their money now will help them later. And even if they do, they aren’t sure how to start planning for the bills that will soon take over their lives. Southwestern Adventist University’s business administration department wants to help with that.

BUAD 120 Personal Finance, offered Spring Semester 2017, will teach students to manage their checkbooks and balance their monthly budget so that they can keep up with the financial demands of the world after college. The personal finance class is open to any student. No prerequisite required and it will count as a normal lower division elective class offering three credit hours. It is scheduled for Pechero Hall Room 111 at 8 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and is taught by Dr. Aaron Moses, department chair.

According to Moses, the purpose of this class is to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to survive the debt they will have acquired during their years in college so they won’t struggle in the black hole of debt for very long. It will go over topics such as the financial planning process, using financial statements and creating budgets, preparing taxes, managing cash and savings, decisions on automobiles and housing, using credit, consumer loans, insurance (life, health and property), investment planning (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc) and planning for retirement.

composed-bill-payer“The class will have a lot of guest speakers who are professionals in these areas,” says Moses. “We will also have practical exercises that the students will be able to do during class.”

Students are encouraged to take this class even if it isn’t a part of their major.

“Most students graduate with a huge student loan debt and we want them to know what that means for them when they get out and have to start paying it back,” Moses says. “Students should take this so that they have some knowledge of how to control their finances when they get out of college, or while they are in college for that matter.”

     The importance of personal finance is seldom taught and when many college students graduate, they aren’t prepared for the steps they need to take to pay back their loan on time and maintain good credit. The goal for this class is to dispel some of those fears for students and give them a basic knowledge on personal finance and what to expect.

“Students need to get this information somewhere and it’s better to learn it here than to have a negative experience teach them,” says Moses.

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