Monday, December 31, 2007

Give me one good reason why MONEY wasn't in the curriculum

I'm not that old. In fact, in 21 days I will be 27, which most people would consider quite green. But I really wish someone had taught me how money works when I was younger. I would certainly be far ahead in this game.
I received a decent education, and had teachers who were quite competent. However, I am of the strong opinion that I was jipped. I can diagram a sentence like a pro, recall important historical facts, quote the laws of physics, and perform simple mathematical functions (hated math.) I was even taught and given the tools for spiritual success. But I was NEVER taught how money works; how to save, spend, invest, avoid debt, etc. (I might add that this plays a part in one's spiritual walk. God's Word talks alot about money.) I know some would say that those things are common knowledge. I submit to you that if those items were so common, we would not be experiencing record numbers of foreclosures in our country right now. So I ask you, if you are on such a high horse, to come down and join us in real life- where Americans are making stupid and even mediocre money decisions every day because of a lack of education in our schools.
Had I been taught in school (mine being a private Christian school) that debt of any kind should be avoided, that a credit score is unnecessary, and NOT EVERYONE has a credit card, I would have avoided about $2000+ of school (and misc. other) credit card debt and the car loan I am now working feverishly to pay off. Not to mention house debt. I'm sure I would still have a mortgage, but I would be MUCH closer to to paying it off today.
Had I been taught in school how to save, I would have known a long time ago that a good rule of thumb is to keep 3 to 6 months of expenses in the bank for emergencies, and that I CAN save and pay cash for things including cars- if I'm patient.
Had I been taught in school how to invest, I would have properly funded not only my 401K, but also be knowledgeable enough to manage my funds. Of course, I'd most certainly be funding my Roth IRA as well.
I wish I could go back to my alma mater and tell them what I know now. I wish I could go tell them that "debt is dumb and cash is king and a paid-off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice." (Thanks, Mr. Ramsey.) I wish I could tell them that Normal is broke: BE WEIRD. I pray that someday the opportunity to help young people start off equipped with the money knowledge they need will present itself to me. Especially after I am debt free.
Sharing this with young adults- now that would be fulfilling.