Tag Archives: finances

Future Generations Will Struggle with Finances Without Intervention, Purdue economic education expert says

11 Apr

Unless there’s some type of intervention, it’s likely future generations will continue to face the same financial struggles that many Americans experience today, according to an economic education expert at Purdue University.

It’s a gloomy forecast. Adults are now in more debt than they were during the recession about 10 years ago, and unprepared for retirement — or even a $400 emergency, according to a Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances.

With April recognized as National Financial Literacy Month, it’s a good time to assess whether we’re doing an adequate job of teaching children about finances and money management, said Jeff Sanson, executive director of the Indiana Council for Economic Education (ICEE) at Purdue University’s Department of Agriculture Economics.

“If you want to thrive and survive in our economy, you need a level of financial literacy to enable you to make sound decisions as well as avoid becoming a victim of a financial mistake or misstep,” Sanson said. “You can mitigate many of those mistakes if you can put together a sound financial plan.”

Sanson said, it’s important to build a foundation early. “As soon as a kid knows to ask for something, even if it’s candy or a toy, you can start having conversations about finances,” he said. “It could be as simple as helping them understand that there is a limited amount of resources and how to prioritize what they want. Maybe they want two things. Help them understand the importance of making choices.”

As part of ICEE, Sanson assists teachers throughout Indiana with economic education programs designed to reach K-12 students. Each year, ICEE offers workshops for teachers as well as provides innovative ways for them to help students learn economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship.

The organization also hosts economic camps for teachers and students, economic competitions for students, and hands-on games and lesson plans for classrooms.

One of its most recent initiatives is an app that helps elementary school students learn economics and entrepreneurship through scenarios guided by Herschel, a feisty puppet dog who still has a lot to learn when it comes to money matters. The app is part of the KidsEcon Project, a series of DVDs, books, teaching guides available through ICEE.

“We don’t talk about money matters enough with kids,” Sanson said. “There’s clear evidence that financial literacy and economic literacy are marginalized because of other instructional mandates.

“However, financial literacy is critical. Students need to understand the importance of how a college education or other training beyond high school can help them get into specific careers, as well as the importance of managing the funds they earn,” he added.

Sanson noted that those lessons can be difficult to teach in an engaging and relevant way for kids. He said many teachers often lack the resources required to support those programs in the classroom, while many parents and caregivers consider those types of conversations tough because of their own issues with finances.

“It’s a very personal subject,” said Sanson, pointing to one study that revealed that even teachers have reported being uncomfortable with their own financial literacy even though they were required to teach it.

“Americans, in general, struggle with this topic,” he said. “I think people struggle with talking about money because they’re not comfortable with their own level of knowledge. They may not be making the best spending decisions so there’s reticence in starting those conversations.”

He also noted that families tend to be private about their income or how they’re doing financially. Even with that, parents can have discussions that can help their children understand income is not unlimited.

“Parents are constantly making choices for the family,” he noted. “Include children in those conversations. Have a monthly meeting in which you’re discussing the budget for the household — outlining short-, medium- and long-term goals.”

Those conversations can include plans for a summer vacation, and the ways that the family can cut expenses elsewhere to make the vacation a reality, Sanson said. Those same lessons could apply for a household item like a big-screen television. “Demonstrate good examples for kids to follow without weighing them down with discussions on how they’re going to be short on bills this month.”

In Indiana, personal finance instruction, which includes the topics of earning income, savings, budgeting, money management, insurance, credit and borrowing, has been mandatory for middle school and high school students since 2009.

However, Sanson points out, “while about half the schools go as far as to require students to take the personal finance course, there is no state course requirement.”  According to the national Council for Economic Education’s 2016 Survey of the States, only 17 states require students to take a personal finance course prior to graduation.

“No one is saying it’s not important,” Sanson added. “It’s just not at the top of the priority list.”

Educational support materials, including assessments, guides, curriculum, and apps, are available through ICEE at www.econed-in.org/resources.asp.

Source: Jeff Sanson, jjsanson@purdue.edu, (765) 494-0188

Writer: Shari Finnell, sfinnell@purdue.edu, (765) 494-2722

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Shari Finnell, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information, sfinnell@purdue.edu
Agriculture News Page

6 Classes to Fill Your Schedule at Purdue

23 Mar

class schedule fillers at purdue.jpg
It’s that time of the year! Making your schedule for next semester and not sure what you should take for those last few credits to get you to full-time? Since our first article for 5 Class Schedule Fillers at Purdue is one of our most popular blogs, we figured it’s time to offer up a few more student suggested courses for those making their schedule for next semester.

Quick information: full-time can mean a lot of different things for undergraduates. For financial aid, full-time is 12 credits in order to have a full award. For academic purposes, the Registrar also goes off a 12-credit rule for full-time. These two are the same for both fall/spring and summer.  However, for billing purposes flat-rate/ full-time billing begins at 8 credits. So whether you take 8 or 18 credits, your base tuition price is the same (unless you have course fees). Graduate student full-time changes fall/spring versus summer, so this information doesn’t apply to them.

Whether you’re looking for something to fill elective credits, general education requirements or just figure you’ll toss another class in to broaden your horizons, there are tons of course options at Purdue. Here is a sampling that other students have suggested:11082590_10153256154614271_7166009571184015507_n.png

PES 115 (Bowling): You may think Physical Education courses were left in the dust in high school, but the 1-credit PES 115 comes as one of the more highly recommended courses from students. The grading doesn’t go off your actual bowling scores, but rather off your attendance and performance on assignments and quizzes. Extra bonus? You can have Pappy’s delivered to your lane since it’s in the Union.

ENG 232 (J.R.R. Tolkien): Feel like you don’t have time for any fun reading during the semester? Well, this class can combine for-class reading assignments with your favorites! Explore Middle Earth by the books during the week and maybe spend your weekends studying up by watching the trilogies.

HIST 371  (Society, Culture and Rock & Roll/ History of Rock & Roll): Not only is the subject matter exciting, but the real sticking point for this class is that the instructor has incredible passion about the subject and makes it fun for the students. The course usually fills up quickly so if you’re thinking about this one, you’ll want to jump on it!

HORT 360 (Interior Flower Arrangement): While arranging flowers might sounds like it could be sneaky difficult, it comes highly recommended by those who have taken it. Remembering a few facts from high school biology will come in handy, but prior knowledge is not needed. In addition, you end up with an apartment full of fresh flowers and house plants at the end of the course. Note this class has an extra fee so it will cost you extra!

COM 212 (Approaches to the Study of Interpersonal Communication): A communication course that can be taken online may sound strange but it is reality. While it might not sound up your alley, this course doubles as both being enjoyable and being one of the more useful courses post-graduation. For better or worse, being able to communicate well in front of other people is a big part of life after college.

CSR 105 (Personal Finance): One of the courses many people often think should be mandatory in high school due to its importance in everyday life. CSR 105 teaches you about how credit works, paying back student loans, and tax information. It might be the most useful course you take in college for your financial future.

While the courses listed have all been endorsed by current and past students, it’s always worth doing some checking on your end as well. Sometimes instructors or the course material changes can make a big difference. You should also take some time to check out how your potential instructor rates on Rate My Professor and see what comments are left there from other students. While individual reviews aren’t always a fair summary of an instructor, seeing several along the same lines can give you a good idea of what to prepare for.

Have a class you’ve taken that was memorable in a good way? Help spread the word in the comments!

4 Financial Goals You Can Actually Achieve in 2017

21 Dec

Did you know that January 17th is known as “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day?” Most people start the new year with big, lofty goals and they quickly come to realize they bit off more than they can chew. According to the University of Scranton, around 40% of Americans usually make new year’s resolutions. Of that 40%, only 8% say they actually meet their goals.

The key to having successful resolutions is to make sure they are simple and achievable. Rather than setting a goal, such as “lose 10 pounds”, try to set a smaller resolution that you can control like, “go to the gym at least 3 days a week”.
Financial New Years Goals.jpg
In 2016, over 30% of Americans had a resolution to save more and spend less. In order to move closer to that goal, it’s important to set simple, achievable resolutions that will improve your finances. If you’re unsure where to start, try making any of these attainable goals your resolutions for 2017.

Saving Your Coffee Money
Coffee is a morning staple for so many people. However, those daily visits to your favorite shop can add up quickly. An average transaction at Starbucks this past year was nearly $9, that adds up to a whopping $2,340 a year! In 2017, set a goal to make your coffee at home. A new automatic coffee maker can be a great investment to ensure you get your coffee without having to spend the extra time and money every morning.

Cut One Service You Don’t Use
That $20 charge for a music-streaming service may not seem that expensive, but if you’re not using it, then you’re just wasting money you could actually be saving. Try laying out all of the expenses you have for services like these, in order of most used to least. For next year, cancel the service you least used this past year. Even if it’s only $20, it can lead up to $240 per year in savings! With technology improving more and more for streaming TV shows and movies, it may be time to finally cancel that cable subscription.

Understand Your Debt
Nearly every American will deal with debt at some point in their lives. From student loan debt to mortgages, it’s important to understand not only how much debt you have, but where it is and how it’s affecting your life. With the rising student loan debt each year, it’s important for graduates to understand each loan and how much their payments will be. To get ready for 2017, make a spreadsheet with all of the loan payments you have (education, car, home, etc.) and how much you can contribute each month to pay them off as quickly as possible. The sooner you pay them off, the more money you will save over the life of the loan. Also, the faster those loans are paid off, the quicker you can spend that money on something like retirement or that vacation you’ve always wanted. There are now even more services for graduates that allow to you refinance your loans, for a lower rate and even the ability to adjust or skip your monthly payment.

Brown Bag It
Grabbing that delicious salad from your favorite cafe may seem like a great idea in the moment, but doing that throughout the week can lead to a big chunk taken out of your bank account. The average lunch in the United States is around $10, so if you eat out every day of the week, excluding weekends, you will be spending around $2,600 a year just on lunch. For 2017, start bringing your lunch to work or school, rather than eating out, and watch just how much you save. Also, by making your lunch at home, you have the ability to control the portions and health benefits of your food.

Ultimately, whatever goals you hope to meet in 2017, just be sure that you make simple resolutions that you can actually achieve. Just like the fable The Tortoise and the Hare says, “slow and steady wins the race!”

6 Classes to Fill Your Schedule at Purdue

28 Oct

class schedule fillers at purdue.jpg
Making your schedule for next semester and not sure what you should take for those last few credits to get you to full-time? Since our first article for 5 Class Schedule Fillers at Purdue is one of our most popular blogs, we figured it’s time to offer up a few more student suggested courses for those making their schedule for next semester.

Quick information: full-time can mean a lot of different things for undergraduates. For financial aid, full-time is 12 credits in order to have a full award. For academic purposes, the Registrar also goes off a 12-credit rule for full-time. These two are the same for both fall/spring and summer.  However, for billing purposes flat-rate/ full-time billing begins at 8 credits. So whether you take 8 or 18 credits, your base tuition price is the same (unless you have course fees). Graduate student full-time changes fall/spring versus summer, so this information doesn’t apply to them.

Whether you’re looking for something to fill elective credits, general education requirements or just figure you’ll toss another class in to broaden your horizons, there are tons of course options at Purdue. Here is a sampling that other students have suggested:11082590_10153256154614271_7166009571184015507_n.png

PES 115 (Bowling): You may think Physical Education courses were left in the dust in high school, but the 1-credit PES 115 comes as one of the more highly recommended courses from students. The grading doesn’t go off your actual bowling scores, but rather off your attendance and performance on assignments and quizzes. Extra bonus? You can have Pappy’s delivered to your lane since it’s in the Union.

ENG 232 (J.R.R. Tolkien): Feel like you don’t have time for any fun reading during the semester? Well, this class can combine for-class reading with your favorites! Explore Middle Earth by the books during the week and maybe spend your weekends studying up by watching the trilogies.

HIST 371  (Society, Culture and Rock & Roll/ History of Rock & Roll): Not only is the subject matter exciting, but the real sticking point for this class is that the instructor has incredible passion about the subject and makes it fun for the students. The course usually fills up quickly so if you’re thinking about this one, you’ll want to jump on it!

HORT 360 (Interior Flower Arrangement): While arranging flowers might sounds like it could be sneaky difficult, it comes highly recommended by those who have taken it. Remembering a few facts from high school biology will come in handy, but prior knowledge is not needed. In addition, you end up with an apartment full of fresh flowers and house plants at the end of the course. *Note* this class has an extra fee so it will cost you extra!

COM 212 (Approaches to the Study of Interpersonal Communication): A communication course that can be taken online may sound strange but it is reality. While it might not sound up your alley, this course doubles as both being enjoyable and being one of the more useful courses post-graduation. For better or worse, being able to communicate well in front of other people is a big part of life after college. graph spending plan final crop.jpg

CSR 105 (Personal Finance): One of the courses many people often think should be mandatory in high school due to its importance in everyday life. CSR 105 teaches you about how credit works, paying back student loans, and tax information. It might be the most useful course you take in college for your financial future.

While the courses listed have all been endorsed by current and past students, it’s always worth doing some checking on your end as well. Sometimes instructors or the course material changes can make a big difference. You should also take some time to check out how your potential instructor rates on Rate My Professor and see what comments are left there from other students. While individual reviews aren’t always a fair summary of an instructor, seeing several along the same lines can give you a good idea of what to prepare for.

Have a class you’ve taken that was memorable in a good way? Help spread the word in the comments!

 

%d bloggers like this: