Financial literacy should be taught at home, at school, and at work

Last Updated on October 14, 2021 by Rat Race Running

Whether we like it or not, the subject of money will play a significant role in our lives sooner or later. That is why I find it incredibly impractical that our homes and schools only emphasize getting a college education to land a good job to determine future success. 

Though this is not to devaluate the importance of our education, but it is essential to teach what to do with the money once you start earning it.

Because eventually, the children trained to find a good job will grow up, earn enough, but still be clueless about properly handling money if not equipped with the knowledge early on.

From our primary until collegiate years, many would think that money is an abstract concept that can only be attained through working in corporate or government jobs for eight or more hours, five days a week, until the day they retire.

However, that concept is no longer the case for our current generation, and proper money management is no longer exclusive to people with business degrees.

Freelancing, owning a business, trading, and social media can be a viable source of income if done right. However, earning money is not enough. It would be best if you also learned how to keep it and make it work hard for you.

Financial literacy starts at home.

Ideally, proper financial literacy is taught at home by our family. But what will happen if our parents are not financially literate themselves? That will only cause many issues in our outlook towards money.

In 1 Timothy 6:10, Paul said that the love of money is the root of all evil. However, many people assume that money is what causes evil which is inaccurate.

Remember that money is neutral and is only a tool. How we look at it and how we handle it will determine whether it is good or evil.

Going back in our homes, talking about money is almost taboo and often refrained from being spoken to the children and even calling money talks “adult talks.”

When time passes and the children earn their own money, they may also be as clueless as to their parents.

But this scenario of unawareness of financial literacy may have been more prevalent in Filipino homes. If we look at our Chinese neighbors, they will show that money talks should not be avoided. Instead, it should be adequately taught within the family.

Financial literacy should be taught at school.

We recently received good news about how DepEd plans to expand financial education to the K-12 curriculum. This is an excellent step towards battling the culture of money mismanagement among future adults.

But the problem that I see is in the implementation. The “London Culture” or loan dito, loan doon, is very endemic among public school teachers, which caused me to write a separate article regarding that.

How can someone knee-deep in debt tell their students to avoid consumer loans when they are busy paying a brand new cellphone they bought using Home Credit.

Or how will they teach their students to save and invest for their future if they don’t have any savings and investments themselves?

Remember that integrity is critical in teaching. It is not enough to know. What is essential is to understand and apply the concepts learned.

In the past two years that I’ve been teaching, I noticed that the salary is not the problem with teachers, but the incorrect mindset, improper money management, and loan culture widespread within the institution.

Financial literacy should be taught at work.

Lastly, for employees, our place of work is where we will stay for the majority of our adult lives. It may be temporary while still building a foundation for our future, or it can be a lifetime endeavor.

So as salary arrives, it is crucial to know the importance of budgeting and living within your means. These are just two of the simplest financial literacy concepts which, unfortunately, are still rarely applied.

Where I work as a college instructor, we are required to attend the annual employee re-orientation. I found it very alarming that a whole afternoon is dedicated to loan management, issues, and concerns.

I was frustrated that not even an hour for basic budgeting or personal finance was allotted. Instead, the speakers will talk about maximizing your loan amounts, how long to pay for it, and more.

But in my previous work in an IT consultancy firm, there are many seminars within the company teaching about the importance of personal finance and investing.

Financial literacy should be learned even as a freelancer.

On the other hand, more and more people are taking the freelance route. Having no one to teach you makes it harder to learn about personal finance. So studying on your own will be crucial. 

Remember that as a freelancer, you don’t have the benefits of an employee, so make sure that you are adequately insured and your emergency funds intact. 

Final Thought:

Through my journey in personal finance, I learned that it is crucial to teach personal finance as early as possible to children. 

This is not to teach them that money is all that’s important, but to instill that what we need is contentment and that most often than not, we can live a modest life while doing a job that serves our purpose.

Financial literacy does not equate that you’ll be rich, but wealth can be a by-product through time.

Never stop learning because life never stops teaching. God bless!


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