Often times many people blame themselves for their poor financial habits. I find this rather distressing, unless, of course, they really do know better. The fact is, unfortunately, most don’t know better. I know why.
I was on the board of the Texas JumpStart Coalition, which is an affiliation of various groups with the mission to teach financial literacy to school children. We discovered is that not only in Texas, but the other 49 states a well, do not have financial literacy in their curriculum.
Additionally, mom and dad generally don’t talk about finances around the dining room table at home. Perhaps because it’s considered crass, and therefore, taboo. So, where are we supposed to learn about finances? On the streets! That’s it; we learn as we spend money. Sometimes that can be a good thing, because as the old adage says, “Experience is the best teacher.” That really doesn’t help when you’ve just lost your shirt in a bad deal. It’s unfortunate, but no matter who you are, from prince to pauper, you need to know how personal finances work. I learned the hard way when I was growing up when my father lost his lucrative oil exploration business.
I’ve often thought, what would it be like if we had to apply nuclear physics in our daily lives? I mean, really, there are people out there with all kinds of doctorate degrees, including rocket science, yet they don’t know how interest works or how to budget their income. Would you call them dumb? I certainly wouldn’t; they just aren’t educated in financial literacy. Today, I would have to live in the jungle if I had to use nuclear physics in my daily life for survival. I probably wouldn’t last very long in the jungle either; lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Next time you chastise yourself for making a financial blunder, ask yourself, “was I born knowing this?” I think not. Be kind to yourself: give yourself an education in personal finances.