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This is why Personal Finance should be Taught in School


I am a firm believer in experiential learning. I think it’s the most effective learning one can do. As Nike would say “just do it.” This type of learning is something I implemented in every single school subject I taught as a homeschooler and something I use in my discipline…natural consequences.

But I tell you know, watching the twins go through the moving out process and navigating the steep learning curve that is adulthood makes it very clear that personal finance should definitely be a subject taught in schools. And I’m not just talking about creating a budget, preparing for taxes, etc. But just the basic life lessons that we aren’t necessarily prepared for…

  1. How much money should one save to move out? And what are all the little costs no one thinks about. It’s not just how much is the rent.
  2. What all do I need to do to move out? Daily and Emergency Preparedness.
  3. What can I skimp on versus what should I spend some money on? Values and Quality.
  4. Application fees, deposits, utilities and all those little things that are taken for granted when you live with mom and dad ie what is always in the cupboards…
  5. Oh, and insurance, we can’t forget insurance. Car insurance, renter’s insurance and so on.

Lease Signed & Utilities Set Up

They asked me to accompany them to sign the lease. I wanted to make sure they read the fine print, knew what they were committing to and came away with a copy of it. We then made a plan of action for them to get utilities set up and walked through that process.

Signing their lease and visiting with a local cat. Any guesses on how long they will last without getting their own animal?

I sent them on their way to go through the process. But I did make sure they knew what to expect. And more important, knew what day to turn things on versus paying for utilities for a week before they move in while the owners are there doing clean up and maintenance.

This lesson has also hit home with watching Beauty learn lessons that we would consider every day knowledge. Those “ah-ha” moments are fun to see, but also very sad as she turns 18 in just a couple of months and is ill prepared for adult life.

Retirement Planning Finally


I don’t know if the saying “better late than never” applies at this time. But I’ve taken a teeny tiny baby step toward formal retirement. I opened a ROTH IRA account with Charles Schwab and schedule small bi-monthly cash deposits from my every day checking account. (My primary focus is still on debt payoff so this will start off small.)

I think I can start investing with any amount, but I can’t take advantage of their financial plan tool until I have $5,000 ready to invest. So for now, I’m going to begin to do some reading and do some manual investing with a small amount of cash while I build up the account. I know I have asked it before, but any free resources for learning to invest would be great. And by learning…I mean, very, very basics.

How Aggressive Can I Be?

I know it’s not a lot, but it is something. I figure I have at least 20 years until retirement so I will need to be pretty aggressive with my savings and balance that with how risky I’m willing to be with my investments at least here to start. From what I understand, I have about 10 years to be pretty intense and risky before I’ll need to be more moderated in the chances I take.

Do you know of any blogs of people who started planning for retirement late in life? I am going to need all the tips and tricks I can gather.

(At the same time I am doing this, I have also looking at opening ROTH IRA accounts for Gymnast and Princess. I need to be a bit more knowledgeable about how they work first.)