It’s June and you know what that means: the start of summer vacation for your children! Aren’t you excited? Three months of sun and fun, and endless days of play for them, right?
What about you? Unless you have achieved financial independence, chances are you can’t take the same summer months off from work, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or small-business owner. Sure, a week, maybe two if you can arrange it but not much more.
Maybe this summer is the time when both your children and you learn more about finances and cash flow so next year you could be more profitable and take more time to be with your family, and your children will be better prepared to enter the earning world (notice I didn’t say, “working world”) and be financially secure earlier in life.
What we didn’t learn in school
Baby Boomers, Gen X and even Millennials weren’t taught basic economics in grade or high school. There wasn’t a class that taught us how to understand income and expenses, balance a checkbook, project interest earnings on investments, recognize assets and liabilities, or any other money-related topics.
When we got our first jobs, we didn’t know what the government would take out of our paychecks and what we would be left with. No one taught us how create a budget, how much of each check we should save, where we could put that money for the best return, and what we should do with the rest.
We were being taught to be employees
For many, if they had it, they spent it. Some parents did take the time to teach their children about money but much of it was rudimentary and just the fundamentals. We were left to our own devices if we wanted to learn more. Mostly, we learned the hard way, when the money ran out before the next paycheck.
Schools weren’t there to educate entrepreneurs and future CEOs. They were there to create employees for the industries and trades; even doctors, dentists, lawyers and other professionals were first being taught to be employees and had to figure out the ownership and growth of a practice themselves, including the cash flow side of earning enough to run the business and having enough to pay back any college debt. Today, not much has changed.
Is it time?
According to Annie Nova, in an article posted on CNBC.com, more than half of states don’t require high school students to take an economics class and only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance. Studies show that students without a financial education are more likely to have low credit scores and other financial problems.
While more states are working to implement requirements for financial literacy, it will be many more years before it is a nationwide standard. In the meantime, if you’re not living in one of those 17 states, it’s up to you.
For those of you with teens taking their first summer job, this may be the ideal time to teach them about finances and especially cash flow, but maybe you need to know it better before you can teach it.
I would suggest getting a free CashFlow GPS Consultation and letting one of the CashFlow Advisors help you review your financial situation and offer some ideas on how you can reduce your debt, increase your income, put your money to good use and eventually be financially free. Then you can teach and show your child, giving them the leg up over others who may graduate and not know that a debit card doesn’t mean an unlimited amount of invisible money and credit isn’t what you give to someone for doing a good job.
Geo Ropert, APR is the president of Ropert and Partners Public Relations – Marketing Communications. His firm is providing strategic public relations services to CashFlow GPS. Geo is participating in our program to gain an in-depth understanding of how cash flow can be improved. He is writing these blogs based on his personal experiences and for the benefit of those looking to “get free and stay free!”