The Amazing World of Budgeting and Personal Financial Literacy, a Student Journey to Discovery

Purpose: The purpose of this presentation is to provide an example of an opportunity to promote financial literacy for Physical Therapy students. Methods/Description: Over the past 10 years, a personal financial planning module has been incorporated into the Administration course for students enrolled in the Physical Therapy Program at the University of North Dakota. The premise for this module began when it became evident that students were challenged in the effort to complete the financial component of the "program development project" required for this course. It became apparent that financial literacy was lacking for many of the students. The personal financial planning module was developed to help the students gain a better perspective of their own personal financial status as well as demonstrate, in a real life application, the struggle that living on a fixed income poses. During semester four of the program, students are required to develop and maintain a personal budget for the entire semester. They then submit brief monthly reflections on their overall compliance with their budget, factors that may have caused them to exceed or be under budget and personal interpretations of spending habits. At the conclusion of the semester, the students submit a 3-5-page reflection paper on their own personal financial journey. Included in this paper, is how their personal financial plan changed throughout the course of the semester and a forecast of their future financial plan. This forecast includes a deeper dive into a summary of their student loan status as well as a projected student loan repayment plan. The students also identify what type of future therapy position they project they will need to live comfortably financially as they look to begin job hunting at the onset of their career. Results/Outcomes: Outcomes of this project are exceptionally favorable, most students stating this assignment was extremely valuable even though they may not originally have thought it would be useful. Students also comment that this information would be helpful for students beginning college. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The electronic banking generation rely on electronic records and most have never balanced a checkbook or developed a budget. Electronic debit/credit cards and on-line banking have removed the basic tasks of money management and pose challenges to helping students understand their own personal financial situation. In addition, lack of financial literacy limits the students' understanding of how businesses utilize financial information to inform decision making. Gaining a better perspective of one’s own financial situation, living on a fixed income, and realizing their debt to income ratio enables students to have a better understanding of what is necessary to achieve their personal financial goals and the expectations they will face when joining the PT workforce.

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  • Control #: 20964
  • Type: Platform Presentation - Non-Research Type
  • Event/Year: ELC 2019
  • Authors: Susan Jeno
  • Keywords:

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