www.RonTravisSr.com by Ron Travis

                  Ron & June "Alabama" Graduation 1963                   

 PERSONAL FINANCES  -  Business 146 (Jeff State)  -  Finance 101  -  (UAB) (Textbook - PFIN by Gitman/Joehnk/Billingsley)

This College course should be taken as an elective if not required in your core curriculum. I am using this course as an example of how to summarize notes and prepare for exams.

(If you take the course, Email me and I will Email you my entire Excel summary of the 400 page textbook in 50 pages (3.5 pages per 27 page chapter).

STEP ONE – Spend about four hours preparing major headings and subdivisions for the entire course textbook to use as the framework for the Excel/Three-Ring Binder notes. This step will also give you an outline for each chapter, and your first glimpse of what the course is going to cover. The main headings and subdivisions will also be listed at the beginning and perhaps the end of each chapter.

STEP TWO - Most textbooks contain a summary at the end of each chapter. I use these summaries to start my Excel-summary for each chapter, before they are scheduled to be covered in class.  I then read the chapter and add additional items that I want to remember and study for each exam.                                     


CHAPTER 2 – “Using Financial Statements and Budgets”. "Life is a Journey. Financial Goals describe your Destination. Financial Statements and Budgets are tools to help you determine exactly where you are on the Journey."

A. Understand the relationship between Financial Plans and Statements.

B. Prepare a personal Balance Sheet. "Net Worth = Total Assets less Total Liabilities" (Using the sample Balance Sheet in the textbook (page30) prepare your own Balance Sheet)

C. Generate a personal income and expense statement (example on page 33 in the textbook).

D. How we spend our pre-tax income based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

E. Develop a good record-keeping system and use ratios to evaluate personal financial stmts.

F. Construct a cash budget and use it to monitor and control disciplined spending.

G. Apply time value of money concepts to put a monetary value on financial goals.

Your textbook and three-ring binder should be kept as the beginning of your lifelong study of the subjects in this course: BUDGETING - TAXES - BALANCE SHEET - INCOME STATEMENT - MAKING AUTOMOBILE AND HOUSING DECISIONS - USING CREDIT - INSURANCE - INVESTING – RETIREMENT - ESTATES.

  1. The key is to review the Chapter Summary Notes before your read each chapter.
  2. Then read each chapter prior to being discussed in each class.
  3. Set your goal for class attendance at 100% and pay attention using your review notes.
  4. Be on time and do not leave early. This helps your reputation of wanting to be a good student; and important tips and information are given at the beginning and end of many classes.
  5. Sit o the second or third row in class to be sure you are not distracted and the teacher receives your attention.
  6. Add class notes to the Textbook Summary Notes to use in studying for each exam.
  7. Indicate textbook pages and copy an example Balance Sheet or other exhibits.
  8. The goal should be to end up with two to four printed pages of notes for each 25-page chapter that combine the summary notes of each chapter in the textbook - your notes from reading the chapter – and your notes taken in class.
  9. The beauty is that by doing this process you have a grasp of the material, and your first notes that become the foundation of your lifelong learning in each area.

YOUR THREE-RING BINDER SHOULD HAVE A TAB FOR EACH CHAPTER (The topics listed in each chapter of this course are ones you will need for the rest of your life):

  1. Understanding the Financial Planning Process.
  2. Using Financial Statements and Budgets.
  3. Preparing Your Taxes.
  4. Managing Your Cash and Savings.
  5. Making Automobile and Housing Decisions.
  6. Using Credit.
  7. Using Consumer Loans.
  8. Insuring Your Life.
  9. Insuring Your Health.
  10. Protecting Your Property
  11. Investment Planning.
  12. Investing in Stocks and Bonds.
  13. Investing in Mutual Funds.
  14. Planning for Retirement.
  15. Preserving Your Estate.