Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finance Isn't Just for the Fellas

Photo credit: Epsos

My class has been going over exponential growth and decay recently.  I had them read some Mr. Money Mustache, analyze the real cost of a car with a 60 month loan after researching different local bank rates, depreciation of vehicles, saving early vs. saving late for retirement, mutual funds vs. savings accounts,credit card debt, Check into Cash (there eyeballs fall out of their head when they calculate a 391% APR), etc.  During this unit I have talked with several adults in the building about how excited I am about this unit.  I had several people act surprised that I, a woman, would find any of that guy stuff interesting.  Seriously?!  Is it 1950?  Do I need to have an allowance for shoes?

Needless to say I informed them that I enjoyed working with finance and that it is what I like to spend some of my extra time doing.  I actually enjoy finance stuff more than my husband.  More surprise.

There are many women that work finance and it just saddens me when other people at school act like I am super strange mainly because I would hate to have the young women these people are around think that they don't need to learn finance.  The woman in Proverbs 31 clearly understood some finance as it showed that she had a business.  I guess I just worry about the young girls in my school getting the idea that they are supposed to be the stereotypical spenders that they see in movies/tv and that they don't need to think about money.

Many of those girls faces that I stare at each day will be single moms, on their own, within a decade if they follow current norms.  They won't have a man to be in charge of the family spending.  They are precisely who needs to learn these ideas the most.  I just hope that none of my students come back and say that this (basic finance) is what they should have learned because I am teaching it right now even if it doesn't seem to be sticking.  I am forced to teach conic sections and imaginary numbers, but this unit, exponential growth, is a unit I get to teach.  It is my baby.  Each year I tweak it and add to it and maybe steal a day or two from other units to turn this unit, this unit that I consider to be absolutely crucial, to bloom as nicely as the crocuses are this spring.  I do everything possible to get these young women and men to start thinking of the future, how their habits now will effect it.  They can dream big if they start now.  They don't have to be part of the herd.  Think differently and you might get a different result.

Every time I teach this unit I normally have a few of my male students stay after class asking more questions and wanting more information about how they can start investing now.  I have yet to have a female student do this.  So I wait..... Someday.  Someday.

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