Dispel the myth that some bands are ‘bad with money’


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There are various adages that warn of the dangers of discussing politics or religion. Both subjects can end the most cordial conversations.

Money is a close third on the taboo list. People take finances seriously, personally and with an air of privacy; few want unsolicited contributions.

The conventional wisdom associated with financial literacy assumes a shared value placed on security, earnings, savings, spending, and the sharing of resources. It emphasizes targeted financial management; save for emergencies as well as for retirement and other goals; prudent budgeting and investment; identity security; and sound borrowing decisions.

Applying these tools, tips and skills might make sense, but financial literacy is more than math skills and access to information. Instead, we must consider that factors such as cultural values ​​and practices, family dynamics, generational poverty and other social factors play a huge role. Thus, the path to acquiring and practicing financial literacy is not flat.

Stereotypes don’t help either, and they’re woefully inaccurate.

A persistent myth is that various groups are “bad” with money. In fact, statistics indicate an aversion to saving, living within your means, and other positive behaviors run through most segments of society.

Only half of American adults expect to have enough savings to comfortably retire – or not at all. That same percentage doesn’t understand the link between a low credit score and financial security, according to a LendingPoint study.

As a result, financial education requires a more individual approach. This includes asking questions and exploring how your education and background influences your beliefs and attitudes, notes author Adam Carroll.

Carroll trains financial coaches, including me. He perfected his approach by standardizing the concept and topic of money, discussing it personally and in tangible terms.

It encourages asking questions: Do you see yourself as a saver or a spendthrift? What is your attitude towards money? What is your first memory of money? Why does this occur to you? What did you learn about money from this? Is there someone who has shaped your attitude towards money, in a negative or a positive way?

These questions promote open conversations about personal approaches to money management. Financial literacy becomes an ongoing conversation, emphasizing the forms, challenges, and changes in behavior.

Ultimately, Carroll’s approach avoids stereotypes and negative mindsets – like “I’ve always been bad with money” – allowing individuals to take financial control.

“When I was growing up, I had no idea my parents were having financial difficulties,” he writes in “Winning the Money Game: A Rule Book to Achieving Financial Success for Young People”.

At Carroll’s high school, his peers considered him “rich.” He later learned that this perception was incorrect.

“(My dad) has since told me that they sometimes put essentials on their credit cards just to get through the month. (You would be amazed how many parents have to do this!) “

Her father’s willingness to share this secret highlights the danger of silence on financial matters. What if Carroll continued to assume his parents were wealthy – perhaps effortlessly? How would that have influenced his own decisions? What if he decides he’ll never be up to it?

Talking about money brings individuals closer to financial literacy and moves away from the costly effects of reduced options and financial impact. A 2020 National Council of Financial Educators survey shows that “financial illiteracy” costs an average of $ 1,634 per American adult, due to low savings and spending, poor credit card use, bad decision making and more.

Another major cost is fraud. People who lack financial literacy pay for things like unnecessary credit repair services and predatory loan products.

Victims of fraud are often reluctant to speak out when fooled or believe that nothing can be gained from sharing. Some also believe they will be judged for proving a stereotype. Therefore, reported incidents are likely to be a fraction of actual cases.

Even so, fraud reports increased in almost every category during the COVID-19 pandemic, costing the United States $ 382 million alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports a 12% increase in insurance fraud, in the largest category, and predicts that cybersecurity fraud will lead to the largest losses.

Karris Golden is editor of the Gazette. Comments: [email protected]

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