It’s hard to believe that in a nation with one of the most advanced educational systems in the world, financial education is sorely lacking. The financial illiteracy problem may be beyond the scope of our country and actually might be more of a global epidemic.
One of the reasons we may be in this situation is that money tends to be a taboo subject. People have a hard enough time discussing money within their household. Speaking publicly about it seems to be out of the question. Perhaps that is why schools tend to avoid the subject as well.
If schools aren’t going to teach the basics of financial education, the burden then defaults to parents. The trouble there is that many adults are financially illiterate as well. If children learn by example, then they may pick up all of their parents’ bad habits. As bad as your poor financial decisions may be, knowing that you may be passing them on to your children makes things even worse.
To break the cycle of financial illiteracy, you need to be proactive. Reading the Lending Club blog is a great place to start. The internet has some excellent resources, but is so vast that it can be difficult to separate the good from the bad. I learn about financial topics through books. I highly recommend taking full advantage of your local library. If your library is lacking, you can go to one of the large chain bookstores and use them as a library. Pick out a book and read a few chapters each time you go. If I do purchase a book, I tend to do a price comparison online. You can often find books for half of the retail price.
To get you started, here are my top two book recommendations:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki, ISBN 0446677450
The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, ISBN 0671015206