Why Schools Should Teach Life Skills: A Guide to Better Financial Management
Have you ever wondered why our educational system doesn’t teach life skills? Many of us have. We spend the majority of our childhood years sitting in classrooms, memorizing dates and formulas that we’re unlikely to ever use again. Yet when it comes to skills that actually have a tangible impact on our daily lives, such as financial management, we’re left to our own devices.
It’s understandable that some of us may have missed out on learning these crucial life skills as we grow up. Often, our parents’ habits and behaviors around money are what we observe and learn from, and not all of them may be good examples to follow. This is why it’s important for individuals to take their financial management into their own hands, to keep themselves from making mistakes that could potentially harm their financial future.
Here are seven tips to improve your financial skills:
1. Make a budget – and stick to it.
Creating a budget might seem tedious, but it’s crucial to understanding exactly where your money is going. Go through your bank statements or checkbook for the past year and note how much is being spent in each category. This can help you identify areas where you’re spending more than necessary.
2. Be a conscious consumer.
Paying attention to prices and using coupons might seem like small actions, but they can make a huge difference in your finances. Be aware of every cent that you’re spending so that your money doesn’t just evaporate.
3. Balance your checkbook.
Record everything that you purchase. Many of us rely solely on online bank balances, which can lead to carelessness when it comes to spending money. Being accountable for every purchase can help prevent overspending or overdrawing our accounts.
4. Have a plan and a vision.
Financial goals are important, and creating a plan to reach them is essential. Knowing where you want your money to go and how to get there can give you a sense of control over your finances.
5. Think like an investor.
Growing your money can only happen if you think proactively and take calculated risks. This doesn’t mean blindly putting money into stocks or investments – it means doing your research and forming a plan to grow your financial portfolio.
6. Work with your partner/spouse on the same financial goals.
Money can be a point of conflict for couples. To avoid unnecessary tensions, create a budget together and meet with a financial adviser to understand how to invest wisely. Ensure that both of you have the same goal and vision, and stick to it.
7. Commit to saving money.
Commitment is key when it comes to financial management. Consistency and persistence are necessary to build a stable financial future. Make a conscious effort to save money regularly, rather than occasionally, to see true results.
If these financial skills had been taught in schools when we were younger, many of us would have an easier time managing our finances now. But it’s never too late to start learning; these skills are entirely possible to acquire on our own. By making a conscious effort to learn and practice financial management, we can take control of our financial futures and set ourselves up for success.