But for adults coming out of high school and college, finding a quality personal finance class can be more difficult than learning to balance a checkbook. Personal finance is generally not that difficult to learn and apply, since it mostly involves simple mathematics. Anyone who knows basic mathematics and is willing to practice self-discipline can easily learn personal finance. The area in which most people struggle is breaking their reckless spending habits.
In more than 30 states, you need to complete a personal finance course to earn a high school degree. Twenty or twenty-five years ago, teaching teens about personal finance was simple. Most transactions were done in cash and had money in their pocket or not. They had a concrete way of knowing if they had money to buy or do something.
Credit cards were something that only adults had and, in general, it was difficult to get money. Personal finance is all about saving, spending, investing and protecting your money properly so you can live your ambition for a good life. But personal finance isn't taught in school, and managing your money can be difficult. We are often forced to learn personal finance through trial and error, and it's too easy to make mistakes that can have lifelong consequences.
Mastering money management requires knowledge, skills and the right mindset. To master your personal finances, you need to understand how your behavior influences financial decisions. Mastering your personal finances is about changing your behavior, which can be difficult for some people. Whatever the reasons, it's clear that women aren't learning enough about personal finance and that this learning gap starts in schools.
Read Pound Foolish by Helaine Olen to understand what personal finance education is really all about. In short, learning the basics of financial literacy is just one more advantage a student can have before going out into the real world. Making informed decisions related to spending, saving, borrowing and investing remains the foundation of long-term financial security. Anyone struggling with certain aspects of their financial life could benefit from a personal finance course.
Learning an instrument is something much more difficult and being able to take a class is an incredible opportunity that will help you learn. They are the ones who whistle through the financial cemetery year after year, not saving a penny and sending postcards from the Bahamas every two years, who end up in big trouble at 50 and 60. But at the very least, look for a course with a comprehensive offering that covers the essentials of personal finance in an easy-to-use format and taught by an expert instructor. We all have individual needs, particular learning styles, and specific things they want to gain from a personal finance course.
For those who want to delve deeper into the psychology behind personal finance, Duke University's Behavioral Finance helps them deal with the typical biases that lead to poor decision-making.