What Do You Learn In Personal Finances Class

Regardless of your job, one force influences all of our lives: money. For this reason, Roy Franc Baas, Professor of Continuing Education and Finance, has been teaching his Personal Finances course for 20 years, initially at New York University and now CU Boulder.

“Personal Finances gives me the opportunity to teach basic financial management to students across campus, not just business and finance majors,” says Baas. “Of the entire courses students take, this is arguably one of the most important as it gives them the skills they need to manage their financial lives.”

Baas should know. He has built a successful 30-year career as a commercial banker, entrepreneur, university professor, and consultant. Originally from New Orleans, Baas is a Principal and Principal Consultant for Banking and Business Consultants. He is also the founder, director, and CEO. of the Baas Institute for Management and Corporate Finance; and a director and senior advisor to DVM Consultants West LLC, a Denver-based veterinary practice brokerage company.

He joined the CU Boulder faculty in 2012 when he and his family moved from Louisiana to Colorado. He has taught this course and other finance and economics courses regularly at the International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria, and has directed the Leeds’ London/Paris International Finance summer program several times.

Baas’ many years of professional experience enrich the teaching. “Students enjoy the anecdotes and ideas I share in class; They inform the material that the students learn in a more dynamic and realistic way, ”says Baas. “As a banker, I’ve helped business people manage cash. I can talk about case studies that bring home the lessons we cover and I try to bring some humor into the experience.”

The course covers basic concepts and applications of personal financial planning, including cash flow, net worth, asset selection and purchase, income taxes, insurance, and consumer debt. Students engage in hands-on projects such as investment tracking and a virtual account balance simulation that teaches them how to invest and track money, how to properly use debt, and how to reach and grow personal financial wealth.

Baas emphasizes that the knowledge and skills his students acquire in this course will serve them for the rest of their lives. “Finance is an exciting topic because no matter what area you are in, at some point in your career you will be dealing with money. I grew up in New Orleans and I love sailing, so I’ll use this analogy: if you know how to sail a dingy 12-foot yacht, you can use the same skills to sail a 50-foot yacht. The same goes for this class; the skills you learn in personal finances can be carried over to any career you may have. ”

List of Financial Courses:

Personal Finances:

In a personal finances course, students learn how to coach people in money-saving and budgeting techniques. Students learn to analyze personal finances and identify places where they spend too much or make poor financial decisions. Students can take this course outside of a degree program. Personal finance topics covered include auto loans, home loans, and budgeting. Taxes are also covered, including saving money to pay taxes and making the most of deductions.

Financial Accounting:

The students develop the ability to critically examine the three most common annual financial statements: the income statement, the balance sheet and the cash flow statement. The classes illustrate the relationship between accounting information and related economic events.

Corporate Finance:

The course familiarizes students with the tools used to evaluate companies; and focuses on making investments, analyzing long-term investments and deciding how different investments will affect the value of the company. Students learn about possible financial problems such as the cost of capital and the risk of investing in a particular product or company. The course often requires prerequisites such as accounting and statistics.


Investment courses generally familiarize students with the various options available, including the pros, cons, and characteristics of each. The students learn how investment planning affects companies in the long and short term.

Financial Management:

Students learn the basics of a company’s financial strategy, including risk analysis, budgeting, and short and long-term investments. Ethical issues related to financial decisions are also discussed. The course requires students to apply financial theories by working with financial assets, financial structures, etc, and insurance matters.

International Finance:

International finance courses introduce students to concepts of global banking, foreign exchange rates, currency exchange, and risk management. Students invest counterfeit money in companies to learn how to manage portfolios with international funds and address investment-related issues internationally. The course generally requires an introductory course in finance as a prerequisite.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you learn in personal finances?

Smart Personal Finance involves developing strategies like budgeting, setting up an emergency fund, paying off debt, using smart credit cards, saving for retirement, and more.

What does a personal finances class cover?

Personal finance is about saving your money, spending, investing, and properly protecting your money so that you can realize your ambitions for a good life. But personal finances isn’t taught in school, and managing your money can be difficult. Mastering money management takes knowledge, skills, and the right mindset.

What do you learn in a high school personal finances class?

Students learn about credit, debt, and credit. Topics include interest rates, credit history and creditworthiness, credit types, smart credit usage, and debt management. You will learn more about bankruptcy, how a loan works, and factors that lenders consider beforehand give a loan.

Is the personal finances class hard?

63% of Americans are considered financially illiterate, according to a survey by the Center of Excellence in Global Financial Literacy, but finding a quality personal finance class can be harder for adults who have graduated from high school and college than learning checkbooks.

Why should you learn about personal finances?

Learning personal finances gives you the knowledge and understanding to make smart money decisions. That way, you will have more control over your own life and be able to do the things that matter most to you. Learning how to manage your money means learning how to make it be free.

To Sum Up:

Knowing about personal finances teaches us how to manage our debts. Avoiding overspending can help us stay out of debt. For example, some people tend to change their lifestyle by getting a higher income, which only leads to more debt.

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