This morning at my local community college I had the pleasure (sarcastic) of spending 3 & 1/2 hours with fellow check bouncers. We bounced a check at Target a year ago and didn't have the money to take care of it until now, so our county got involved and required a class in addition to paying $254 for a $45 check.
To start off with, the instructor was late. At least she was nice about it and let the others that were late stay as well. She is a director at a nearby university in their finance department, so she's one of those book knowledge folks. With credentials like that, I was hoping we would be going into some budgets, saving money, etc.
The first 2 & 1/2 hours was all about emotions. How our values and behaviors interact, being out of balance, comparing our actions to terrorists (at least she said we weren't as bad as them...). Everyone there pretty much felt the class was a waste of their time (at least at the beginning) and I could tell we were going to spend more time on our inner feelings when the instructor had us all call out our favorite dessert one by one.
We did go through how to use a check register, but she went through it so quick, half the people were still confused after her explanation. She should have check by walking around the class to see if everyone understood before running through it on the board. We also were given "homework" for making a budget, how much should be in each category, skimmed over quickly the power of compound interest, etc. Of course, the "homework" will never be looked over since we don't have the class again.
Overall, I think maybe 10-15% of the class got some really good stuff out of the class and I heard some making goals to start tracking their expenses, saving up for their daughter's college, etc. One lady in particular I'll be praying for in the coming days, she kept on believing that she had no money to save and she probably won't until it is her goal to have some money to save. I'd say about 25% of the class basically decided not to use banks anymore and just work with cash.
We're pretty close to that last crowd, for our day-to-day expenses we use cash only and our monthly expenses (utilities, mortgage, debt payments) we use the bank account.
I made sure to speak up and tell them about having an emergency fund (mentioned near the end by the instructor when everyone was wanting to get out).