Friday, July 6, 2012

Future of Financial Intelligence

Over the last couple of years I have been thinking about two things
1. That I would love to help students start up a club or group of some kind
2. That I fear for the financial intelligence of many of the young people out there

I know some people who have gone through high school and University successfully and are only now really learning about some of the key financial tidbits they wish someone had told them sooner. I also know that the Ontario Curriculum allows our students to get through the required courses without ever learning about these things (OK, so there is a chapter on interest and mortgages in Grade 11...but most classes don't put this information into a context that makes it matter).

The above has led me to think that I should consider running "stuff you should know" type sessions for students who are looking to enter the "real world" (which may involve post secondary education, the work force, travel, etc). Here are some of the things I have thought about addressing:

- Keeping in touch with family
- Keeping in touch with friends
- Maintaining a work-life balance (job, school, social)
- Making friends in your "new" life
- Credit cards - what are they and should I get one
- Tips on saving (how and where)
- Perspective on the financial costs of education
- Student loans, Line of credit
- Bursaries, awards and scholarships
- Do I need a laptop? How to survive note-taking
- Services at post-secondary schools
- Etiquette at the theatre
- Basics cleaning for student housing
- Dealing with landlords
- Basic car knowledge
- Paying and organizing bills, etc
- Do people really change after high school? Life and other things

Now I definitely see some overlap here with things that the guidance department at my school already addresses, but I think there could be a benefit to a separate small group setting that would be set up for discussions and questions more than generic info. I am not sure how well attended this kind of thing would be though, and that is the reason that I would much prefer to set up a club that students already express interest in. If it comes from them it is more likely to draw the interest of other students and keep the word spreading without a huge advertising effort.

Those are my musings on the topic for now. I don't have a concrete idea on how to go about getting this started, but at least the thoughts are there, and now there is record of it. Who knows what next year will bring.

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