Real life classes
Anna Mason | Tuesday, September 3, 2019
I have taken a variety of classes that do not always relate to my major. While I have found some of these classes relate to other classes or work, I think having a curriculum that has to do with real life situations would be very important for students. Classes that teach cooking, paying bills, applying for mortgages or loans and personal finance are all classes that could help students transition into the real world with a better idea of what they are supposed to do after graduation.
After living in multiple apartments with roommates from all over, I learned there are very few who know how to cook a wide range of meals. While a box of pasta and pasta sauce may be a cheap and filling meal, there would be a benefit to colleges having cooking classes. Some high schools used to teach cooking and home skills, and I have family members who still remember the skills they have learned. While cooking is a skill that can be learned from practice, I believe teaching students to cook could be beneficial and a way for people to save money. If people are confident and they can cook a delicious and filling meal, they may be less likely to go out to eat when they become hungry.
Bills and taxes will be a reality in everyone’s lives regardless of someone’s major or job. This important skill is rarely taught in classes, and it usually appears in finance courses when it is taught. Finance students are only a small percentage of people who will have to be paying these bills. While there are companies who help a customer pay taxes, that is extra money going out the window. Knowing how to correctly pay bills and fill out taxes may save people money and provide them peace of mind.
A mortgage is probably the largest investment people will make in their lives, but there are many people who are not very informed about this decision. Many people may know about a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage, but people may not know about the different products. People should understand if they are getting a conventional or a Federal Housing Administration-approved (FHA) loan. People should understand the benefits that come from shopping around for interest rates. People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on houses, and it would be beneficial to know exactly where the money is going and if there are ways to save more money in the long run.
Personal finance classes are sometimes offered to students who are not specifically in business, and I would suggest them for all students. A person does not need to be in finance or business to invest in stock or in real estate. It is never too early to start planning for retirement, and these classes will help give guidance for how to go about this. If the thought of dealing with multiple accounts makes a person’s head spin, there are people who will help manage money. Financial planners are great resources people from multiple situations can use to help invest or save in a beneficial way.
Many schools encourage students to have a range of classes that go outside their major. I would encourage schools to add classes that would leave students with lasting skills they will use very often.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.