How is Personal Finance Not a Required Course in High School or College?

If I could create my custom schedule at college, I would take the basics of every type of business course and then 90-100 credits of finance, economics, and some other upper-level business courses here and there because that is what I enjoy and the field I am aiming for. However, I don't think there is a university in existence that gives degrees to those whose education is so narrow, and I understand that other courses are important for a complete education.

To graduate, or sometimes even start taking business courses, one must complete a wide array of liberal art courses which include history, English, religion, literature, foreign language, philosophy, and many others. This does not go the other way though. You can study the basic core in high school, and then liberal arts in college, never touching a basic business or finance class in your life. How is this possible? How does an entire educational system miss arguably the most important subject to real life? No wonder we have a huge student debt crisis if many of those taking out student loans don't know even know what annuity is, and they're using them to pay for school.

Obviously, there are some exceptions to this, like 5 of the Ivy leagues being only liberal art programs at the undergraduate level, but for the most part, that does not make any sense. Is there a course of action you think that could be taken to change this? Or perhaps do you think that this isn't a problem? Looking forward to hearing that perspective if anyone on here has it.

Comments (45)

Aug 24, 2017

It should be.

Aug 25, 2017

valid point. should be. isn't.

Aug 25, 2017

1.) Our school system at the high school and middle school are archaic. Though there is a place for every subject taught (even history is important to learn about the past), topics such as coding and personal finance, among others, would be most beneficial.

2.) Topics on personal finance are not that hard to learn. Usually parents should teach this to their children, but most parents don't know how to do this properly or suck as parents. Additionally, if these were taught in school would kids actually listen?

3.) If a these topics were easy to teach they would be taught. A lot of teachers don't understand these topics and they usually don't teach what they don't know. If teachers knew tax law in and out they would probably be an accountant.

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Aug 29, 2017

The issue lies within the system itself. If people understood how stupid it is to go out and spend $300k on an education that will pay you $35k/year upon graduation, universities would not be churning out debt-laden graduates at the rate they are today. Our society thrives on the basis of portraying what you have by what house you have, what car you drive and living outside of your means.

The path to personal financial freedom is to spend<$ you make yet, this concept is lost on a large majority of the population.

Personal finance is also like one user said, one of the most difficult subject to teach because so few have mastered it themselves. This is a concept best taught at home, however most parents are poor examples as well and thus educate poorly and add more to the ignorant in the form of their children.

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Aug 25, 2017

Good points.

Also, have to remember that higher education is a business, even if labeled "non-profit". ~40% of tuition is plowed back into recruitment, that's why you play $45g per year and see no substantial improvement to the campus, yet the promotion materials get better every year.

Personal finance just boils down to paying and saving. Is $10 a lot of money? If all your needs and wants are $9, it is very much money, if all your needs are $11, it's not. Add/subtract 0's as needed.

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Aug 30, 2017

It's a little more complicated than that. You need to understand the tools that are available to you in order to benefit from them. I had one kid talking to me about trading currency pairs (wtf?). The American capitalism systems is extremely open and beneficial to all those that understand it. Maybe if we had real financial literacy in this country we could eliminate the silly belief that there is some conspiracy to give corporations all of the poor people's money.

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Aug 29, 2017

It's in nobody's best interest but your own to become financially literate. Society wants good little worker bee employees - not people with independent though who can fend for themselves, financially or otherwise.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Aug 29, 2017

It's in nobody's best interest but your own to become financially literate. Society wants good little worker bee employees - not people with independent though who can fend for themselves, financially or otherwise.

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Aug 29, 2017

Ah, conspiracy theory guy, NF.

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Aug 29, 2017

It's not a conspiracy. It's just not in the best interest of money so it doesn't happen. Why isn't nutrition taught? Why isn't philosophy and meditation and proper athletics and lifestyle?

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Best Response
Aug 29, 2017

Yeah. I'll always remember the talk my pops gave me when I was just a young fratling. He took me on his lap and said to me, "Son, remember this, in life there is only one way to judge a man. And that way is by how many fucking G's his dad pulls in a year. You've made it FratLord, you've achieved greatness. Just reach age 21 and it's all yours, $17,500,000 tax free in a trust." He then wiped a tear from his eye as he cracked open a cold one and finger blasted my mom, who was still in her neon Tri-Delt sorority tank top. His brow was creased and he thought a bit before adding, "Oh, and only fucking pussies rush Beta".

Still makes my eyes well up thinking about it yo

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Aug 29, 2017

Butt-chug or regular chug on the beer?

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Aug 30, 2017

This is gold.

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Aug 29, 2017

Saving money and keeping costs down is pretty self-explanatory.

Aug 29, 2017

dude you are not in a position to be shitting on anybody

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Aug 29, 2017

I'm not shitting on anybody. There is no need for a mandatory class that boils down to basically 1) Not spending your money on stupid shit 2) Save every penny 3) Keep costs down where possible.

For example. Lots of kids at my HS have little to no net worth because they went to McDonalds or Chick-Fil-A every morning, fucking suck it up and eat when you get home and pack your own lunch. Another thing is don't throw money on fancy clothing, you're not impressing anyone. I notice kids who have Citizen Eco-Drives and Seiko watches which are $300 and such a waste of money. Mah man, like I said, you're not impressing anyone. I guess I'm just really good with my money considering I have WAY more than people my age.

No need for a mandatory personal finance class lol, it is seriously this simple.

Aug 29, 2017

Personal finance and sex education class were mandatory in my school and mandatory in many states. Personal Finance class is becoming more and more demanded in high schools across the country and is making progress. Sadly sex education isn't taught in many states, and those states have the highest teen pregnancies, teen abortions, STD rates, etc.

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Aug 30, 2017

Didn't know that personal finance is required or even offered in some states. Kind of funny that you link it with sex ed as they're almost one in the same.

Aug 29, 2017

The advent of the modern day schooling structure was to produce obedient laborers. People who were capable of going through the motions, but not smart enough to question authority / understand the true inner workings of society.

Henry Ford once said something like (and I paraphrase) - "if everyone knew how the monetary system works, there'd be a revolution the next morning."

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Aug 30, 2017
Stay.Hungry:

How is this possible? How does an entire educational system miss arguably the most important subject to real life?

First off, do you really think that the majority of people believe that personal finance is the most important aspect of real life? There's naturally very few people on this forum that aren't concerned with building wealth, but the vast majority of the population doesn't prioritize getting rich as finance professionals do.

If the education system (elementary and high school) put a greater emphasis on how to get rich, over understanding a nation's history, how to effectively read and write, and how to understand the complexities of the world (math & science), the population would be a bunch of mouth-breathing, disorganized alt. right supporters.

Second, where tf did all of you go to school?

I was raised in a small remote city in northern Canada and in high school I was taught plenty of personal finance (how to properly use credit, the purpose of budgeting, etc).

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Aug 25, 2017

Not to be an ass, but "the proper use of credit" is actually an oxymoron, because the proper use of credit is actually no credit.

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Aug 29, 2017

You don't understand how smart people use credit yet you play smart saying shit like oxymoron? Eat a fat one pal

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Aug 30, 2017

I have an extremely hard time believing someone working in equity research would make such a ridiculous statement. Tell me, why do you think governments, corporations and individuals use credit if it's not beneficial in some way?

Aug 30, 2017

I've attended 5 different school districts(public and private, north and south, US and abroad), and looked at many other secondary schools. None of them offered personal finance.

Aug 30, 2017

Somehow, the priorities in this country are fucked. Progressives don't see the value in modernizing school curriculum to help kids understand the importance of all of the basic components of personal finance. Kids should learn basic personal finance, because it's not as simple as a credit card and don't take on too much debt, if the world is to function in modern capitalism.

I think, the issue is funding these types of programs. Kids aren't interested and parents don't even understand it. There's no one really making a push. Those that go on to learn finance, don't typically want to make grade school educator salaries. As well, we're so behind that training would probably take some time to get to a place where we could distribute resources equitably to teach at all schools. I don't even know if teachers in grade school are even specialized in the courses they teach. I'm pretty sure they can learn it, but like I said, it would most likely be a cost schools don't want to incur.

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Aug 30, 2017

Because learning about how to take care of oneself isn't remotely as important as learning about Christopher Columbus for the umpteenth time, as well as studying the various oppressed ethnicities pushed down by the white man. I guess my point is that the awful historical deeds of the white man take precedence over learning invaluable life lessons that are paramount (in my eyes) for success. While history is incredibly important and everyone should recognize the injustices of the past, teachers get so fixated on ensuring that everyone appreciates equality, and thus, other crucial areas of education are overlooked.

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Sep 2, 2017

The education system in this country is a joke at just about all levels. Combine this with the fact that most teachers themselves are probably not qualified enough to teach personal finance (just sit in a Macro Econ class in high school that is non-AP and whats taught will make you gag).

Should it be taught? Absolutely! Will it ever be part of a nationwide mandated curriculum? Doubtful.

Just like people who bitch about how science and evolution is taught you'll have parents who'll complain when Jose, Tyrone, or Billy Bob is told or realizes that with his 2.5 GPA spending $150K+ on college is idiotic, that this course is denying them a chance at a college education or is racist or something equally stupid.

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Sep 2, 2017

My Canadian friends had Personal Finance classes in Highschool. I'm sure there are in other parts of the world as well, just not a thing in the US. Must be a conspiracy.

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Sep 2, 2017

It's tough for anyone to teach good personal finance practices in the U.S. because as a country we promote excessive spending. In the U.S. we have to have everything, and we have to have it now. It's kind of sad to watch honestly. You have to be pretty disciplined to have good spending habits, and your goals have to be well in line. It's something that most of the middle class and lower class don't understand. Saving every dime is tough for most, I do it because I'm ambitious and disciplined, but most people just can't handle seeing other people have things they don't have and they spend everything.

Sep 2, 2017
Comment

I come from down in the Valley, where Mr. when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done.

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Sep 18, 2017
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