Do you ever feel like you have no idea how to “adult”? Growing up is inevitable, and a lot of the skills needed to be an adult come out of left field… all at once. It is really true when people say ‘you never use what you learn in high school.’ The skills that are needed in life are not taught in high school.
A 2015 study, conducted by U.S. Bank, showed that college students who are out on their own for the first time, struggle with budgeting and money saving skills. The skills that a young adult needs goes beyond applying to college, finding a way to pay for it, and managing money while away as a new student.
Our generation is spoiled in the sense that our parents finance our first car, our education, the family tax process, and our banking. With age comes responsibility, of course. But, why is it okay that our generation is not being taught about such “adult” things?
This particular study counted that 50 percent of students are taught basic money management skills like ATM card usages and how to deposit and withdrawal money. The shocking part of this data was that only 39% of those students said they would trust their bank branch for financial guidance. This is staggering because this means that young adults are beyond dependent on their parents when it comes to finances. Maybe this is a contributing factor to the growing retirement issues in our nation.
As a freshman in college, it is a given that spending money is necessary. This is when part-time jobs come in handy… so one would think. U.S. Bank discovered that only 11 percent of surveyed students graded themselves an A when it came to money management skills, as 44 percent admitted to having not the slightest clue how to create a budget, let alone maintain it.
These findings alone create something to worry about. Basic financial knowledge is not understood, making it crucial to be taught. If a young college student can barely maintain a spending money budget, the burning question is how will they finance their loans, a home, or a family?
The implications of this study provided a wake up call to financial experts like Leslie Tayne, who recommends saving at least 5 percent of your paycheck or other income each month and advises students to put it into a high-yielding savings account (GoodCall). This advice in itself shows how helpful an emergency savings fund is, no matter their age.
Thinking too much about the future is never good. But as a college student, loans are important, and they make sure that you know that they’re there. To better our financial futures as young college kids, we need to apply ourselves, but more importantly- we must educate ourselves. Think about it- you either went to college to get ahead in your preferred career, to make your parents proud, or both. My parents always say that they want to see me better off than they are. In order for me to give them that pride, I must get my priorities straight now, before it is too late.
Make your parents proud too. Let’s educate ourselves, finance ourselves, and not be a statistic like those in this study. We should research our resources, know how to use them, trust our banks, and utilize the time we have to get ahead. So who’s in?