Sunday, February 18, 2007

Get it where you can, financial planning

It never ceases to amaze me how taboo it is to talk about money. It was not lost on me, the verbal fights my parents had about money. Bill collectors would call and it made my mom crazy. Raising a family of five on a steelworker's salary was a challenge. My dad refused to let my mother assist with the finanical planning. Remoldeling the house was my dad's drug of choice.

We never wanted for food, clothing and the occasional inexpensive restaurant dining. It was a really big deal to eat at Howard Johnson's. It wasn't until I got to college that realized how middle class we weren't. There was a chronic unspoken under current of financial strain. BUT you did not talk about it.

In my senior year, one of the popular girls suddenly put on weight. At first, pregnancy was suspected. Eventually, she broke down in class, and revealed her father had lost his job. The weight gain was the result of eating more potatoes because that was all they could afford. She said it would have been easier to be pregnant than poor. Dear God. These are the values we as a society we instill in our youth.

It wasn't until my father thought that he was going to die, that he had a honest conversation with my mother, his wife about little things like what bills needed to be paid. A little financial planning/management would have did my folks a world of good.

As a society, sex is discussed freely. Why on earth is it such a problem to talk about money? Why are those without money or get into a financial bind ostracized?

Financial planning should not be reserved for those making six figures. By learning how to manage money early, the credit card debt crisis could be mitigated early in some cases.

Bur the need for instance gratification is everywhere. We talk of values. What is so wrong with waiting until you can afford a luxury item like a HDTV?

Unfortunately, credit card companies, rent-a-centers prey on this itch that we have convinced ourselves needs to be scratched immediately.

Passing a financial planning course in high school should be mandatory for everyone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Financial planning should start early age. It shouldn't be just a mendatory course for high school student. Parents should be educated about money planning constantly and they need to pass on the skills to their children if they want to stop living in poverty.

Financial eduction for all of ages and at anytime is the key to financial freedom.