“The number one problem in today's generation and economy is the lack of financial literacy.” Alan Greenspan
Success in life is often measured in terms of the piles of accumulated "things" we possess but we are really missing the point of success by limiting ourselves to this measurement stick. A good financial education will give us the possibility of obtaining not only material riches but the riches of experience which enable us to put deposits in our Memory Bank. Financial knowledge will also give us a good understanding of maintaining, conserving and sharing our accumulated riches. If our children learn to manage money responsibly it will not end up managing them.
Ideally we have to start teaching finance when kids are small, trusting and ready to soak up information. Perhaps you have heard of the 3-Jar method of teaching good financial habits? It is often used with young kids but adults could benefit from copying the idea of allocating their funds into three"jars". One jar is for
SAVING (tough but necessary) -
one is for SPENDING (Yay!!) and
one is for SHARING (riches are better shared).
Kids taught to handle their allowance or gifts of money in this way will end up being able to manage money wisely..
I think that elementary and high school curricula should have mandatory courses in personal finance so that kids will hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls of poor financial decisions due to lack of knowledge. Learning Finance can actually be fun!! What's more, there is a payoff for doing well in the course - a sound financial education is a great investment in a comfortable future. We owe it to ourselves and our kids to teach them to not only control and manage their money but to share their wealth with others.
"He had heard people speak contemptuously of money: he wondered if they had ever tried to do without it." Somerset Maugham in: "Of Human Bondage"