How Public Education is Ripping You Off
Updated: Mar 4, 2021
My favorite part about high school was going to my classes about adulthood – the ones that taught me how to pay my bills, pay my taxes, and save my money properly. I’m sure you all enjoyed these classes as well.
Classes about adulthood and finance were NOT in the curriculum at my public high school, and it didn’t seem like there was any initiative to begin teaching on this topic. So, why? Doesn’t this knowledge seem essential? I’m a twenty year old in college having to pay rent, electric bills, and my taxes. Not to mention the tuition, books, and groceries. I work a part time job, and I somehow have to manage this, my grades, and a social life? Okay. All of these responsibilities stack up, and there seems to be no smooth transition from high school to college. This transition would have been so much easier had I received some guidance on what to expect and how to do it. I wrote my first check this year – I had to Google how to do it. Finance is in every aspect of our lives. It determines so many parts of our lives, but again, we are not taught about it.
This is ridiculous. I don’t want to live my life barely understanding what is going on financially. I want to be confident in all of my transactions. I want to sound cool at cocktail parties – “you see the market today?” I want to retire with $1 million. I just want to know what’s going on.
It’s not fun to feel lost. It’s not fun to be one step behind everyone else. I want to give you all that step ahead. Finance doesn’t have to be scary.
Finance can actually be fun. When you understand how financial concepts work, you learn how they can work in your favor. Wouldn’t you rather want finance to be working for you rather than against you?
I am here to teach you everything about finance that you did not learn in school - so, uh, everything about finance. I want you to become passionate about it rather than treating it as a burden that you try your best to ignore. If you do not think you will enjoy finance, just give us one shot. Be open minded and view money as something good rather than evil. Money is a piece of paper that the government says is worth something. Money is backed by nothing except the word of the people. Don’t let this piece of paper take advantage of you – take advantage of it.
If we’re not taught about finance in school, how did I become passionate about it? Well, luckily, I have found a lot of mentors that are willing to teach me and help me learn about finance. One of these mentors is my grandfather, and he made me interested in finance in a very unique way.
When I was thirteen years old, my grandfather sat me down and told me that I was going to get a lesson on the stock market – I was not excited at this point. So, we sat down, and he gave me a short lesson on what it is and how it works. Honestly, I don’t know how much I gained from that at the time, but the payoff was years later. After this lesson, he proceeded to ask me, “what are three companies that you see around the most?” So I thought about it. First, I said Disney. I watched TV shows on Disney Channel, watched many Disney movies, and have been to many Disney parks. Okay, next I chose Lennar. At the time, many houses were being built around me by a company called Lennar, so I chose that one. Finally, I chose Microsoft. I loved to play on my Xbox, so I thought Microsoft was a good one. With the little money I had, my grandfather went ahead and bought a few shares of stock for each of these companies.
I kind of forgot about this day for about a year, and then we sat down together again. We looked at my account, and I had made – money? That’s what caught my attention. I forgot about this for a year and I had somehow made money? This made me interested, so I started doing my own research.
Once I turned eighteen, I could have full control of my stock portfolio. My grandfather transferred it to me and I was so excited to make my own decisions. I bought and sold some stock, made some money and lost some money, and I was learning so much along the way. This opened avenues to other financial topics. I started watching a lot of financial Youtube channels and got really invested in these.
When I got to college, I realized people were coming to me with financial questions. It hit me that some of these students had never been exposed to these concepts before which blew my mind. I loved answering these questions. My favorite questions were the ones I couldn’t answer because I would learn by trying to teach them!
There is so much to learn. So much. But don’t let that intimidate you. It should excite you. There are so many different paths you can go with finance – you will never get bored.
Public school gives you access to learn so much, but they may be teaching you in a way that doesn’t click with you. Finance can be seen in so many different ways that there is sure to be a way that clicks with you. There are so many topics that you can choose which ones are applicable to you.
I guess one of the benefits of not being taught finance in school is that you have the opportunity here to learn about it. You can go at your own pace and involve yourself with what interests you. You’re not learning this for a grade, you’re learning this to become knowledgeable and to take hold of your future.