Andy Williams, a musician who started his music career in the 50’s, said these words. Unfortunately, today this is still true.
We spend many years in school to get educated and still they haven’t managed to include one important topic in the educational plan that will have a big impact in our lives, personal finances. However, this might just be a result of the educational system not keeping up with the development of the society. I can only speak for Sweden and my thoughts around it, I am not claiming it to be the ultimate truth. The standard of life and the amount of money we have are significantly higher comparing to 100 years ago. Back then money was a more limited resource for many people and managing our money therefore became a necessity for survival and a common sense was developed. Today it is quiet on the contrary and we have enough money to even decorate our homes as a hobby. Many people suffer from “having too much stuff” that causes stress in their lives and some seek liberation through minimalism. We just keep buying and buying and buying… These are all challenges we face as a consequence of having money and constantly living with the temptation of wanting and being able to buy, and we need to learn how to handle it.
Having money doesn’t automatically mean that we know how to manage money, just like we don’t know how to drive a car just because we have one. We need to actively seek the information and take responsibility ourselves for our personal finances. It wouldn’t be reasonable to require everyone to pass a test to go shopping just like with a drivers license, however, I do believe the world would be a better place if we were required to get a license before we can get a credit card.
I believe that it would be great if personal finances was integrated in the educational plan, but I also think that it has to be taught by the parents as well, and the best way as a parent to teach your kids is to lead by example.
When you are doing your budget this month I recommend you to listen to some of Andy Williams beautiful music. What? You don’t have a budget yet?? Well, what are you waiting for, read about how to get started with budgeting here.