Schools have failed us.
We’re not taught how to do taxes, what a mortgage is or even how to get a good job. All everyone seems to say is: go to university, get good grades and get a stable job. No one tells us how to save, how to budget and whether we should be thinking about retirement.
And that scares me.
There’s a ton of financial knowledge that I lack because of this. And I’ve had to teach myself how to start investing, how to budget, how to earn good money and even how to open a bank account. And that’s why I started my own blog Financially Mint, to help other students do the same: figure out life.
But today I want to talk about why is that we’re lacking this financial education. After doing some research and asking around, here are a few reasons:
Times are changing
Getting a degree and then a job used to be something that worked. But not anymore. The pension, tax and legal system have changed, meaning we won’t be staying with the same company for 40 years. It’s not the company that manages your pension now, it’s YOU. You have to save for retirement. But the problem is: no one tells us how.
Now it’s normal to keep changing jobs, have a few income streams and only work when you want. Now if you want stability, a job isn’t the answer. Financial education is. And schools haven’t caught up yet.
No one knows where to start
It’s now compulsory for schools to teach personal finance in maths and citizenship classes. However the interesting thing is: nothing has changed.
And that’s because the education system is the root of the problem. Half of students still dislike maths, history, reading, economy, etc. Most students hate school in general. And that’s because school is not generating an atmosphere of real education; a lot of information is forced down our throats to be then regurgitated during exams. Sometimes it’s helpful, but many times it kills curiosity and our love for learning.
Once we get the education system right, then students will be interested in learning about personal finance and life. We just need to start with the basics: how to save, how to budget and how to earn good money.
Maybe a darker reason for the lack of financial education, but a plausible reason nonetheless: it’s easier to steal your money.
Banks, corporations and governments make more money when you don’t know what to do with your finances. The more you get into debt, the more banks cash in. The more adverts to buy a new car (buy a second-hand one!), the more people waste a HUGE amount of money on something they don’t need.
It’s also the reason people believe money is ‘evil’ and is only for the greedy. All the strange financial words like ‘index funds’ and ‘compound interest’ make us confused and this forces us to stick to the only things we understand: I need money for food, housing and transport. It forces us to cling on something stable: a job. And too many times it’s a job we dislike, or even worse, that we tolerate. And that, my friends, is called the rat race.
I may have painted a pretty negative picture of our current society, but it’s also true that it’s not all bad. There are quite a few organisations such as CAP or The Money Charity that go to schools to help students learn about money. And there’s a lot that we can do about it, whether that’s simply talking more about money with friends or teaching ourselves- there ways to improve the situation.
And if you’re interested in learning more and financially educating yourself, I make it my mission to help students over at Financially Mint. Pop me an email or send me a message on Twitter or Instagram and I can help you make some sense of the adult world. You can also join our community on Reddit where we discuss student life and all the rest!
For the full article check out: Why They Don’t Teach Us About Money in School