According a study conducted by Charles Schwab, “nearly 9 in 10 say they want to learn how to make their money grow (89 percent). Two-thirds (65 percent) believe learning about money management is ‘interesting,’ and 60 percent say that learning about money management is one of their top priorities.” Do you know what that means? Young people want to learn about spending plans, acquiring appreciating assets, and creating emergency funds.
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The key to guiding students is making all the tried and true information about personal finance apply to every day life. It’s not that there are any new ideas about money management under the sun. Oh, there are folks that will try to tell you there are. Those folks are liars. The same old strategies work the best:
Don’t spend more than you earn.
Put your money into appreciating assets.
Invest for retirement as early as you can.
The challenge is getting these stogy old ideas to the younger generations in a fresh way. You’ve told your students/children/relatives to set goals for themselves, right? Have you every put it in the context of rapper 50 Cent’s career? You’ve talked to them about creating a budget, but you explained the merits of spending plans? Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it. You think they’re not listening, but they are. You think they don’t see your behaviors, but they do. Teens want to know more about financial literacy. Meet them half way.
Life is chess, not checkers. Make smart moves.
If you haven’t read the new study “Lifting as We Climb: Women of Color, Wealth and America’s Future” it’s time you do. One of the most startling discoveries of the study is
For all working-age black women 18 to 64, the financial picture is bleak. Their median household wealth is only $100. Hispanic women in that age group have a median wealth of $120.
Yes, you read that right. Though there are many reasons that these statistics exist I’d like to make mention of a few key points.
We tend to make less to begin with, so it’s vital that we manage what we earn well.
They also are more likely to be employed in jobs and industries — such as service occupations — with lower pay and less access to health insurance. And when their working days are done, they rely most heavily on Social Security because they are less likely to have personal savings, retirement accounts or company pensions. Their Social Security benefits are likely to be lower, too, because of their low earnings.
We can control our reactions to what happens to us and to do that we have to be aware of our options.
The current economic crisis has shown that a person’s wealth affects not only retirement security, but also a person’s ability to handle financial setbacks such as a job loss or a health emergency.
It’s imperative that we:
Start planning ahead
Figure out our net worth
Monitor our credit scores and understand why they matter
Show that we respect ourselves by making good money choices
Make a spending plan
Don’t use quick cash services
At the end of the day, for many reasons, it’s up to many women to make good choices for themselves and their families. We must ask the questions we don’t want to hear the answers to and make the tough choices. Educating yourself about personal finance will help put you in a position of power and you’ll be stronger for it.