This post was written by Business Administration graduate Sheldon Smith. Sheldon completed her course work this past fall and graduated in December.
This fall semester I took a personal finance independent study with Mr. Gowin. An independent study is a class that is personalized to the student. With approval from Mr. Gowin, I was allowed to pick the topic I wished to study and help design it to a way that would personally fit my learning style.
I came from a family where I never had to worry about money. My husband, Chris, also came from a situation like that. Both of our families were very well off. It was a huge blessing growing up, but the down side was that we were not necessarily familiar with saying “no” to things that we wanted. If we had money in the account, we would buy something. We were not good at thinking ahead of the payments we would have to make later on in the month or year.
Chris and I will be moving away from both of our families soon, though, and it is really time for us to figure out how to handle money properly. That is what gave me the inspiration to take a personal finance independent study with Mr. Gowin.
I read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and watched some of his DVDs. I also read I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. Chris and I both found it strange at first applying Dave Ramsey’s principles to our lives. We were used to just spending money if there was some in the bank account, not worrying about saving up for Christmas or car insurance. Now, though, we have a set monthly budget and do our best to really stick to it. It is difficult and we do not always succeed 100% with it, but we are still learning and trying. In this class,
I also had the opportunity to interview Stacy Tedrick and Dana Sydney, two financial experts in Lincoln. It was really interesting hearing what they do and getting their perspective on loans, investments, insurance, budgets, etc. I learned a lot from them that I may not have heard from anyone else.
My thinking about money has changed dramatically due to this course. I think a lot more about where money should go and how we should use it. I am also a lot more strict with money, which is the hardest thing to do. I know the money is there in the bank account, but it is set for a specific purpose. I believe things will get easier, though, as more time passes; I am just still learning.
I believe that this study has greatly helped me with planning for the future. I am not going to be 45 and still paying off school loans. The borrower truly is slave to the lender just as Proverbs 22:7 states, and that verse is ingrained in my mind thanks to this class. I have gotten to read and experience different things that will definitely stick with me.
Because of this class, I may have saved myself and my husband from years of financial problems.
NOTE: Sheldon and Chris have a great foundation because of what they’ve learned about personal finance in the past few months. Check out Ethan and Nicole’s remarkable story as well–they paid off $42,000 in student loans in just two years after graduating from LCU.