Why give the gift of financial literacy?
We all like to give our kids the best we can afford, don’t we? We also wouldn’t dream of having them grow up without the grounding of a good education. Sometimes though, while trying to provide our kids with physical items and a good secular education, one of the most important gifts we can give to our children can often be overlooked, the gift of financial literacy.
As April is financial literacy month in the US this post is part of a group of posts being shared today by personal finance bloggers who are relating their greatest money A-ha moments. My eldest son started school this year as a result a huge A-ha moment has come my way as I’ve been reminded about the kind of things that are taught at schools and those that aren’t, and even more importantly what a huge responsibility that places on me as a parent. A-ha!
Why financial literacy is the most important gift
When it comes to controlling our money you would think that with all of the fancy apps and online tools we have, we would all be financially super savvy by now. The truth though is that these apps and tools have only sprung up because it has become more difficult to keep a track of and control our money, not less. While technology can instill confidence in some people, sometimes it can also lead to complacency as we rely on our new technical tools and lose track of the basics rules and principles of good money management in the process. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone but it certainly will be the case for some. I would say that – with the hundreds of credit cards, mortgage schemes, finance agreements, online fraudsters and other financial scams out there – personal finance is as complicated, if not more complicated than it has ever been. The sheer volume of topics personal finance bloggers find to write about is testament to that.
With all of this complexity it is so easy to make mistakes and get drawn into financial danger if you haven’t been on the receiving end of a good financial education before hitting your adult years. As the state educational system still isn’t doing enough to address the more practical side of financial literacy – not just the ability to add and subtract – it is really left to us as parents to shoulder that responsibility. It is a great feeling to be able to give our children toys and gifts but in my eyes there are much more important things we can give to our kids than possessions. Things like a strong moral compass, showing them how to lead a healthy lifestyle and the gift of financial literacy are just as important as any physical gift we might give.
Financial literacy week
I’m publishing this post because this month is financial literacy month. Today a huge group of my fellow personal finance bloggers will all be writing different posts on the subject of financial literacy as part of a blog carnival organised by my good friend Shannon over at The Heavy Purse. If you want to read some of these posts then please head on over to the carnival and check out who is involved.
Financial literacy is not something that comes naturally to most people, generally it is something that needs to be taught and learned. Our schools and educational systems do a great job of educating our children but when it comes to financial literacy there is still much more that can be done and the buck doesn’t stop with them. If we want our children to avoid some of the financial mistakes that have been made by many people again and again over the centuries then we need to work hard to pass on one of the greatest gifts we can give, the gift of financial literacy!
Why is financial literacy important to you?