Everybody wants to feel at peace. How is this accomplished? Unfortunately, I do not yet, and probably never will, have all the answers. But I do have a good starting point. This is not a self-help post. It's not a 'Get Rich Quick' scheme. It's simply the introduction to a 12-week course I'm taking on personal finances - how to manage money, create and use a budget, and invest in ways that make sense for me and my family.

We learn many valuable skills in high school. English and art classes invigorate our imagination, while science and math help us understand how the world around us really works. However, there have been few, if any, dedicated courses to teach people how to appropriately manage money! Finance classes are becoming more standard in high schools in Tennessee, and colleges are beginning to offer these courses. It would be a lot easier if we could just make enough without having to worry about how much we're spending, but this is rarely how it works out. Also, what if something happens to your health to where you can't work for an extended period of time? What about having enough money to live the way you want to when you retire? What about financial burdens such as a broken down car, a large appliance breaking, or some other unexpected expense?

Most people feel and experience these struggles anywhere from an occasional basis to almost daily. How can this be avoided? Can it be avoided altogether? Is there a way to stop stressing about money? It can be avoided by making budgeting and spending wisely a priority. It cannot be avoided altogether - things will happen such as loss of a job, unexpected expense, and other financial stresses. There is a way to stop stressing about money, and it starts with being honest about wants and needs.

I'm not sure exactly what will be covered in this 12-week course focused on personal finances. But I do know that if I'm honest about where my money goes, I put a lot of things in the need category that really belong in the want category. My priority is not an easy dinner, but rather more in savings or investments for retirement or when financial woes occur. My priority is not the coolest new shoes I saw and just have to have, but rather decreasing my debt and saving for long term goals. These are just a few examples of how to achieve a feeling of peace and well-being.

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