People around the world are becoming increasingly comfortable with the financial position of their country, according to a study released last month.
The study, conducted by Pew Research Center, surveyed over 30,133 respondents in 27 countries and found a median of 46 percent believe their nation’s economies are doing well. The surveyed nations account for roughly two-thirds of the global gross domestic product.
An average of 65 percent of American respondents believe the country’s economy is doing well. This data is up from 15 percent who believed their country’s economy was doing well in a similar worldwide survey in 2013.
Despite this optimism, a median of 66 percent of respondents believe today’s children will have worse financial situations when they become adults than their parents have now.
Because of this financial uncertainty, Janiel Nelson, a faculty member in the Home and Family Department, teaches students in her money management class to prepare for unexpected financial strains by saving money and living within your means, especially when preparing to take care of a future family.
“Students that are single often have a harder time financially planning for the future because their current expenses are low,” Nelson said. “Their peers who are married and have children take the family part of planning more seriously. I think their example to students who are still single helps them prepare for the day when they do get married and have children.”
Nelson said that there are many ways for students to save and make money for the future, but that investing tools such as the stock market are dangerous for students.
Students are given the chance to see the dangers of the stock firsthand through a simulated investment portfolio provided by the money management class.
Nelson said that she warns her students to be wary of the stock market until they have enough steady income and experience to make the most of it.
Kevin Wall, a senior studying accounting, never heard Nelson’s warnings. He invested $8,000 in Del Taco and MoviePass stocks in November of last year. Wall kept a loose eye on his investment as he slowly began losing money. After a short while, he had lost over $5,000.
“What I lost was extra money,” Wall said. “But, I mean, $5000 is a lot of money for a college student.”
Wall said that losing $5,000 gave him a new perspective on finances. Seeing how much money he lost made him realize how much he still had and what he could do with it.
“It helped me realize that I should put my money into the things that matter most,” Wall said.
Wall continues to save money, but also reserves money for fast food and other non-necessary expenditures.
“Having a budget is really good, but it is possible to be too frugal,” Wall said. “Don’t be so frugal to the point where you’re not living.”