Increased financial awareness can better you for future financial hurdles

As we have moved forward in time, we have progressively become a society that lacks awareness of our financial surroundings. We have a tendency to normalize debt, and that should be expected in a world where being thousands of dollars in debt is pretty common.

The problem, especially as college students, is that we face an uphill battle when it comes to being financially aware. Paying for college becomes a massive financial burden, and sometimes the only option to make ends meet is to pull out student loans. At the end of college, we find ourselves upwards of 20 or 30 thousand in debt, and that is how we have to start our lives out.

Beyond this, few of us were ever required to take any form of a financial class in high school. There was no one to explain to us how to pay bills, budget money and how to save. Even at the college level, finances simply are not stressed enough. There is no form of financial class required in the core classes, though there should be. Studies show that the spending habits we create now are the ones that will stick with us for the rest of our lives.

Financial awareness falls into the important category of financial wellness. Too often we focus on physical and mental wellness, which are of course important, but we leave out so many other important areas. Financial is one of those big areas, as the consequences of lacking financial wellness can cause major health issues.

As a college student, one of the more serious problems from a lack of financial awareness is the lack of concentration and productivity that is associated with the stress caused by it. When you lack concentration and productivity, you lack the means to succeed in your classes. You’re more likely to miss class, homework assignments and projects. It creates an endless cycle of failing classes and trying to find the money to retake classes you were struggling to pay for before.

Along with that, financial issues are a big reason that students drop out of college. For those students who have already taken out loans, they are expected to pay them back with or without a degree. Defaults on loans have become more common as students are swallowed by the amount of money it takes just to attend fours years of college. Slowly but surely another generation is created that is worse off than we are, which seems hard to imagine at times.

Is there a solution to the lack of financial awareness that our generation has? Sure, just not a particularly quick solution. Our generation needs to work on raising awareness that financial wellness does exist. Classes on personal finance should be required for all students in an attempt to create a generation that realizes that debt does not have to be the normal way of life.

There’s no doubt that change would be slow and that asking people to change is always a battle. However, increased financial awareness can guide you to be better prepared for financial hurdles in the future.