Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Having money is important. Understanding how to utilize and maximize the benefit of your money and wealth is even more important. Whether you believe the world revolves around money or not, it cannot be denied that in order for us to have an enjoyable, safe, and financially secure life, we need to have our money work for us, not the other way around. The process of achieving financial security and attaining knowledge on how to take full control of your financial well-being does not start when you’re in the workforce and making a salary, or when you’re 40 and have a house and family; it starts now. According to the book, Saving Your Future: Basic Principles of Building a Financial Foundation, 39% of Americans carry credit card debt from month to month, about 56% of adults do not have a budget, and the number of workers contributing to Social Security for a retiree has decreased from 40 to 3 people. What’s even more shocking is that not only are 70% of college students graduating with debt, but the amount of student loan debt is increasing at an average rate of $2667.2 per second. No person, especially a college student, should feel added stress because they are worrying about their financial well-being. Even if you feel you are financially well-off, nothing in life is set in stone. We must always equip ourselves with the knowledge to overcome any hurdles and to ensure that we are continually making our money work for us.
For this reason and purpose, I have started a club at Swarthmore called SWIFT (Swarthmore, Wealth, Investment, Finance, Trade) Education Club. One of the activities of our club next semester will be financial literacy workshops led by a financial educator. In these workshops, we will discuss concepts such as debt management, building wealth, and preparing for retirement in depth. We will also provide two books that will facilitate learning outside the workshops.
In addition, we will also invite guest speakers to teach us about topics such as investment strategies, how to budget, how to save for retirement, etc. For example in our meeting this past Sunday we had Swarthmore’s Director of Investment, Frank Grunseich, lead a workshop on basic investing terminology and strategies.
Our financial status affects not only us, but also our loved ones and friends. Don’t add extra stress and burden to your life because you did not take the time now to prepare yourself for your future. If attaining financially literacy is something you want, then SWIFT is the club for you.
We meet on Sundays about 2 times a month. If you would like to join, please contact me, Joshua Collin (jcollin1), Rafi Hares (ahares1), or Tyler Pasko (Tpasko1).