Writing a check and other life goals

By Jasper Smith, GTA Instructor

It never ceases to amaze me at the variety of career paths that the students want to take. My Spring group housed future doctors, lawyers (one student wants to be a District Attorney), computer programmers, electricians, video game designers, teachers, artist, veterinarians, etc. And as always, a handful responded that they had no clue. However, of those students who said that, they did want to go to college or a trade school. Knowing that, I shared my story about going through college and not knowing what I wanted to do. I told them I had no idea then that I wanted to be a Financial Planner, but after going through college, I at least knew what I didn’t want to do. Plus, attending college is an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world!

This class was really curious about how the financial world works. Most of the students were aware of needing to have good credit, and I shared how my mother explained credit to me. They didn’t believe that it was so simple, but I expressed to them that they should always check their sources when someone is giving them advice. One young lady was very interested in investing but was concerned that the stock market was a terrifying place. We spent a few minutes discussing the importance of buying low and selling high and understanding your risk tolerance. While I could only scratch the surface on some of their many questions, I shared a few online resources (like investopedia.com) where they could enhance their financial acumen.

imagesDuring one lesson, I asked the students who currently had a bank account. Only a few hands were raised. Then I asked who had a checking account. For those who kept their hands raised, only one actually knew how to write a check. It’s obvious that check writing is a lost art and is quickly dying with the variety of mobile/online payment services that exist today. Despite that, I feel that it’s extremely critical for these young adults to know how to write a check. The one student who knew how to write a check was a little shy about getting up in front of the group and drawing it on the board. I encouraged her to “be the teacher” for a few minutes, and with a gentle nudge from her table-mates, she happily grabbed the marker and got it done.

I feel like a seasoned veteran, having two GTA classes under my belt. Every week is a different adventure. I’m definitely looking forward to my next chapter with GTA!