The resent Grad is getting a taste of the real world. She is out hitting the pavement in search of a paycheck. I am extremely thankful that her life isn’t depending on it yet; I’m not planning on cutting her off anytime soon. She has had moments of grandeur or maybe it’s just me fantasizing that I have prepared her for what’s to come. Mostly, she is experiencing the harshness of reality. Life takes effort. I have spent a portion of my career in sales. That reality is a numbers game. It parallels what she must now do; how many resumes does she have to get out in order to land one job? The goal of high school should be to get a student prepared for college or career ready. I’ll leave college prepared alone for now.
What financial lessons are taught in high school? I sought the answer from my Grad and I got the deer in the headlights look. Something along the lines of fundamentals and literacy would have benefited her; be advantageous to all of us. If it were me, the first lesson would be living within your means. It would help to create a budget for a clear, mental picture of what you are making and what you are spending. Emphasize that you need to start paying yourself first; taking a percentage of your income and putting it to work making you more money. Banking would fall under this lesson plan as well as an emergency fund. Another section would be credit and credit cards; the stifling expense of interest. Credit cards are on par with doing business with a loan shark.
How daunting is filling out paperwork? Job, loan, and housing applications should be covered as well as medical and income tax forms. Homes and automobiles are two reasons I’ll agree with you suffering debt. New car? No. One that is dependable and fits within your budget would be a smarter choice. That leads into your credit score. What it is, how to grow and maintain it, and where to get one should be covered. CreditKarma.com is a good place to get yours free. This is what I would start with.
Come to think of it, this is me. My Grad and I have some work to do. NEWS FLASH: The day after penning, I was contacted by Ramsey Education desiring to discuss their program and Pierce. Interesting how things fit together. ■
— Scott Arens is a lifelong resident of Arbuckle. To contact Scott email email@example.com