Friday, August 14, 2009

Finance Lessons

Last night, The Boy and I met with a financial planner. We didn’t go there necessarily to be planning our financial future, but rather we visited to listen to the planner discuss his career and possibly see if that might be a job avenue for The Boy. While Mr. Wonderful didn’t walk away thinking about a career (not quite what he’s after), we both started thinking about our finances.

One thing the financial planner talked about was the lack of knowledge people--particularly young people (but not exclusively)--have of personal finance. Apparently being able to balance a checkbook and keep a budget aren’t the things my generation thinks about. The fact that neither of us have any debt outside our student loans is remarkable. I had both economics and personal finance as required classes in high school, plus I’ve been budgeting my life for three or four years. The Boy manages his money in his own way (not really sure how, but with no debt, I’d say he’s been successful), and he also has two degrees in business administration. Safe to say we’re both familiar with how to pay bills.

Is it that parents don’t understand their finances and aren’t passing on good habits to their children? Is it that students aren’t being educated about finances in school? Is it that credit card companies have targeted their marketing on under-educated people? Where does the fault lie in so many people not understanding finances?

Where did you learn how to manage your finances? Who taught you? What lessons do you think need to be passed on most?

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