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Scarier than death and taxes

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” The famed quote by Benjamin Franklin is wholly accurate. However, let us amend that statement just a bit, “In this world, nothing can be scarier than death and taxes.”

What are taxes? How does one go about paying for them? How does one go about paying for things in general? Figuring out how personal economics work, including but not limited to opening up a bank account, paying off bills, getting a credit card, amounting good credit, can be quite confusing.

Even though there is little to no preparation for any college student thrust into the adult world, they are left without much support when it comes to completing a task as simple as opening a bank account.

The average college student usually has sub-par money management skills. Such skills are essential, not only for deterring the purchase of that cute yet overpriced shirt or a $4 cup of coffee, but it also assists an individual with spending, savings and a plethora of different money-related topics.

A recent study conducted by NerdWallet found that 80 percent of millennials worry about making mistakes on their taxes. The study emphasized that 18-34 year olds have displayed higher anxieties when it comes to taxes than any other age group in America.

This is not a surprise as the general ignorance of all things financial is a persisting issue for younger adults. These problems become more prevalent when it comes to dealing with student loans, which can make one feel financially suffocated.

There are almost no resources that can teach an individual all the information they need to know in a clearly stated bundle that is specifically geared towards the younger generation. Yes, the internet, friends, family and other sources of advice can prove beneficial; however, with the market being difficult to understand as it is, there needs to be a solid base of information and resources for dealing with financial matters.

Foreign language, culture, social sciences and particularly physical education are all subject-specific credits every student must take in order to graduate, regardless of major. There should be an additional requirement for students: an introduction to economics and money management course. It can be similar to some other core credits where the class itself can operate on a pass/fail structure and only offer one to two credits.

Part of the reason why the recession and housing crisis occurred was due to individuals recklessly spending money they did not have and banks allowing them to do it. Although this is a bit of an oversimplification, it is still a valid reason for young people to learn how to navigate the market and economy through certified instructors, instead of relying on sometimes questionable and biased sources.

Money is one of the most important factors of survival and human civilization and the lack of knowledge concerning how to take care of, make, manage, save and efficiently spend money is going to end up disadvantaging this generation of college students. By making a money management course a graduation requirement, students would finally have the financial confidence to face real world situations.