TROY — In an economy that seems to grow more complex by the year, personal finance instructors at Troy High School are taking special measures to prepare students for the realities of daily money management.
Steven M. Temple, owner of Temple Financial Solutions in Troy, appeared as guest speaker to personal finance students on Friday, in the first installment of a series of lectures aiming to train students on budgeting and financial responsibility. According to instructor Sue Phillis, the idea for the lectures came as a means to broaden the perspective presented in the classroom.
“When I was presented the curriculum they gave me for personal financing, I didn’t agree with some of the content,” said personal finance instructor Sue Phillis. “I thought if students got more input from different sources that were out in the field, it would give them better options. I knew Mr. Temple from personal experience, and reached out to him.”
“For years, when I’ve talked to clients who are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, they say to me they wish someone would’ve taught them these economic principals when they were younger,” Temple said. “Better yet, they wish someone would teach them to their kids and grandkids. They wish they were learning these things at an early age. When Mrs. Phillis e-mailed me and asked me to consider doing this, it was a honor.”
The content presented to personal finance students on Friday via PowerPoint presentation included information on topics such as principles of budgeting, the dynamics of credit card usage, managing unexpected expenses, and interest rates on saving and various payment plans. Temple will return for two more lecture installments on Friday, Sept. 21 and Friday, Sept. 28.
“My hope is that I can give these kids some ideas to begin asking questions next week,” Temple said. “We’d like them to start thinking about things in the long term, so that when they’re 20, 30, or 40 years old, they’ll have some disciplines in place and strategies that’ll benefit them financially.”
“We’re trying to prepare them to be financially sucessful,” Phillis said. “That’s the bottom line. We want them to start thinking now about what their financial options are, and that’s it’s never too soon.”
“When I was in the retirement market 25 years ago, I was very successful at getting employees to be disciplined to start saving money,” Temple said. “One of the CEOs of the company asked me, ‘How do you do this?’ I said, ‘It’s very simple – you have to create the want.’ At the end of the day, if someone wants to go buy a new Ford pick-up truck, they’re going to find a way to do it. Retirement has to be as important to someone as anything else.
“I’m hoping we can do that with 16 or 17-year-old students. It’s going to be a little more challenging, because many of them aren’t plugged in to the aspects of finance yet. The goal is just to get them making better choices after they graduate and go to college, so that by the time they’re 40 or 50, they’ll be better empowered financially.”