Foundations in Personal Finance: College Edition by Dave Ramsey
Dave Ramsey’s College Edition of Foundations in Personal Finance is for college students who want to learn how to basically be smart with their money and pay off their debt. It comes with 4 discs (3 DVD’s and 1 CD) and a 5-chapter student guide.
When watching the DVD’s, you follow along with your student guide that it comes with and fill in the blanks. I found this convenient because it helped me to learn what he’s going over while he’s talking. I not only hear it, but I also write it down. This is also good for when you want to go over things he went over in the DVD without having to watch it all over again. Another thing I find convenient is on the back of the DVD case it says how long each chapter is. With how it’s divided, I think college students can easily find time to watch this. I found it easier to do a chapter a day. It only took about 1 ½ hours to 2 ½ hours (depending on the chapter) out of my day to do this.
Dave Ramsey goes over Savings, Budgets, Debt, College Student Essentials, and Family, Friends and Philanthropy. While I did learn a lot, I found it all to be a bit overwhelming and not focused specifically on college students. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I feel that all the chapters should have been like the 4th chapter (it’s focused on college students and getting grants, scholarships, financial aid, jobs after college, etc.). For instance, chapter 1 is titled “savings” and of course, we all need to save better but instead, he goes over the baby steps to becoming wealthy. One of the baby steps is to save $1000 in an emergency fund but the rest of them consisted of things like paying off all debt except for your house debt (not saying it’s not possible but I don’t know of any college students that can afford to pay off their debt while still in college), saving for your children’s college fund (how can we save for our unborn children’s college fund when we can’t even afford ours?!), and paying off your home early. Now I understand these are all great tips, and it’s never too earlier to learn them, but I was under the impression that this was all suppose to be things college students could do to help their money situations now.
Later on he goes over budgeting. Now every college student needs to learn how to budget, so I did find this chapter helpful BUT once again, he then threw stuff at us that was a bit overwhelming. It’s things I felt would be more helpful for people out of college and with a family and home. A lot of these things are not “baby steps.”During Dave Ramsey’s excerpts, it cut out to clips of his daughter and she was more college student focused with the small tips she gave. I think having someone other than his daughter would have made this a bit better because at times I was very skeptical. Her dad is Dave Ramsey and she could have very well gotten help for college since saving for your child’s college tuition is something he emphasizes. Nothing is wrong with that at all, but I think a lot of college students that are in debt will probably not think she’s helpful. Some of her tips were things like “Save so you can pay for next semester’s tuition in cash.” That’s a good tip, but something very obvious. The only reason a lot of college students don’t do that is because even with saving, college still isn’t affordable for those who don’t get much financial help. Now, she did make a few good points like save and go to a college you can afford, but then again, how many colleges today are “affordable?”
One of the things Dave Ramsey did go over that I thought was good for college students is the envelope system. This helps with not overspending and making sure we don’t go over our budget. The only issue with that is that will mean college students will have to keep cash on them in envelopes. I, personally, use a debit card 90% of the time so if I were to do this envelope system, I’d keep a sheet of paper in the envelopes and keep track by writing down how much money I’ll designate for whatever the envelope for and subtract from it every time i make a purchase with my debit card. Most people I know do not feel safe keeping a month’s worth of expenses in cash on them, so I think he should maybe explain that for people that mostly use debit/credit cards. Otherwise, I think the envelope system seems like a good idea to help with budgeting money.
Overall, I learned a lot of info from this college edition of Foundations in Personal Finance. I learned financial terms I didn’t know before, a few things I can do now like balancing my checking account, saving and putting into an emergency fund (maybe not as much as he suggested), budgeting, how important it is to save now to have a better future, and A LOT of stuff that will benefit me in the future that I probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I think he does a really good job of emphasizing the things we should not do, such as using credit cards and spending money we don’t have. A lot of us tend to do that without even thinking. I do think this would have been a lot better if this was more college student focused, but some of the info in here is things college students can still do. I suggest not trying to do everything he suggests, but rather starting small and taking actual baby steps such as stopping bad spending habits you have (you don’t need that $100 pair of jeans), and saving more. It probably won’t help you get out of debt instantly while still in college, but it will help get you on the right track to having a better and comfortable future, money-wise.