If You Think It’s About Money, You’ve Missed The Point
Money can’t buy happiness, they say.
Let not burden teens with learning about money, they say.
Teens need to focus on their grades and getting into good universities, we shouldn’t fill their heads with ideas of riches and wealth prematurely, they say.
That’s a load of crock, I say.
If anyone thinks financial education is all about money, they’ve completely missed the point.
When a teenager carefully considers the cost of student loan debt, instead of blindly taking it on — that’s financial education.
When a teenager consciously pays her credit card bills, on time and in full, and avoids credit card debt like the plague — that’s financial education.
When a teenager starts investing in low cost index funds and slowly but consistently keeps at it so that she gets a headstart on wealth building activity — that’s financial education.
When that same teenager, as a young adult can take on a lower paying job with better learning opportunities and better chances of growth in the future, all because she can manage her money better — that’s an effect of financial education.
When this adult wants to strike out on her own, she can. She isn’t dependent on her parents, spouse, or the government, because she’s made smart money decisions and is now self-reliant — that’s an effect of financial education.
If this adult wants to consider leaving her job to pivot her career or to start her own business, she has the confidence to do so, because she has a nest egg to fall back on. She doesn’t have to be buffeted around by the economy, or a horrible boss, or the current unemployment rate — that’s an effect of financial education.
I could go on…but you get the picture.
On the other hand, when adults live from paycheck to paycheck, get into soul-sucking credit card debt, work at jobs they hate just to pay the bills, or work for decades without any savings or wealth building activity — that’s a lack of financial education.
Money is leading cause of stress, divorce and mental health issues.
So when as a result, these adults then suffer from unimaginable stress, strained relationships and serious physical & mental health issues — these are effects of a lack of financial education.
When they are forced to stay in physically and/or emotionally abusive relationships because they can’t afford to walk out — that’s an effect of a lack of financial education.
When they suffer crushing remorse because they can’t afford to give their family the security and lifestyle they would have loved to — that’s an effect of a lack of financial education.
When they dread retirement, because they know they can’t possibly afford it — that’s an effect of a lack of financial education.
I could go on…but it’s too painful.
Financial education is not about money, it’s about freedom & security.
It’s about mental & physical wellbeing.
It’s about self-love & self-care.
Why would we begrudge our teenagers that?