This is an open letter to all governments. I am addressing this situation to all countries because I think it does not matter if you live in the USA or in Japan, our constant need for money is one of our biggest common points.
Mr. and Mrs. in charge (or so we think),
I am writing this letter to express the urgent need for financial education into our school system. I am well aware that we are constantly debating the content of a good education and that we are struggling with budgets. However, ignoring financial education will result into bigger financing issues. I think it is the time for stopping this vicious circle and bring personal finance into our schools. The overall population have very little finance related knowledge and this must be addressed urgently.
I have heard many politicians’ wishes to forward this responsibility to parents. It could make sense if our society was financially responsible. As most people are crumbling under the constantly increasing weight of their debts, as the percentage of income savings is reaching zero over North America and that the only way to keep up our countries as they are is issuing more debts, I sincerely do not think we are in the right position as parents to show our children how to manage their finances. As another example, many individuals can barely calculate the amount of interest they pay over their debts. If they would, I am convinced they would restructure their finances otherwise.
Unfortunately, our children will likely repeat our very same mistakes. They will think those 36 months without interests are the only way to acquire goods and that their credit card is the key to financial freedom. Sooner or later, they will wake up as we did; half dead of working so many hours to pay our monthly bills, depressed by thinking we have to work until the age of 70 as we could not accumulate enough savings in our early years and discouraged for the next generation. I do not believe we wish to leave such a poor heritage to the next generation.
I am myself parent of two children. My deeper wish is to have them learn what I am learning right now, but at the age of 10. They must learn how to handle financial responsibilities before they gain financial independence. In fact, if they don’t, they will earn nothing less than financial slavery. They are living in the paradise of materialism and we are not giving them the right tools to deal with the constant pressure of consumerism.
Educating children to be more responsible about money, explaining them how to manage a budget and planning their retirement will solve several economic issues. Financially responsible individuals will be in a better position to take care of themselves and will rely less on Government’s help, which would result in enormous savings. At the moment, many people think that it is the government’s responsibility to assure their retirement pension and medical access. However, if they can save money on the side for the darker days, the Government’s help will be less required. If one can manage his finance, save money and invest a part of his nest egg, the overall economy will prosper and write history. We would literally start a revolution in term of financial independence and overall wealth.
In addition to this point, well administered finances avoid several disputes among families. It has been proven that the number one source of conflicts within couples is financial issues. The lack of money creates an unsupportable stress that individuals carry on their back. This pressure is meant to explode at a certain level. In several occasions, it results into depression, divorces and even self-destructive behaviors.
Therefore, I am asking you to seriously consider the addition of financial education into our primary and high schools. This matter could easily be used to combine and integrate other academic acquisition such as mathematic and languages. After all, personal financial management could only contribute to a better future.
I would seriously suggest other financial bloggers to spread out the word in order to accentuate the pressure on different governments. There is something that can be done and internet is giving us the power to share our thoughts throughout the world. We have now the chance to use this power for the good of human beings.
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