Jessica Weaver: 3 Misconceptions About Who Financial Literacy Is For
…there are far too many misconceptions about who financial literacy is for… Jessica Weaver, Financial Literacy Advocate
Financial literacy is often used as a blanket term to cover anything and everything, from budgeting and credit cards to investing in stocks on Wall Street. It has a certain connotation with those who are interested in finance and have a good grasp on how to earn, save, and invest. But the truth is, there are far too many misconceptions about who financial literacy is for and who financial education is marketed to. Here are three important misconceptions about financial literacy I think need some debunking.
(1) Financial Literacy is for Business Students
…everyone needs financial education… Jessica Weaver, Financial Literacy Advocate
Personal finance is often marketed to those who are interested in entrepreneurship or the finance sector. In my high school, financial literacy classes were offered as part of a “business track” for financial/entrepreneurial minded students. The problem was these classes were not marketed to students like me who were interested in history and politics.
High schools and higher education institutions who only categorize financial literacy within their business track need to recognize that this poses a significant barrier to financial education for students who do not think in terms of business.
The truth is everyone needs financial education. No student should go without financial literacy education, especially those who are not business majors.
(2) Financial Literacy is Only for High Income Earners and the Wealthy
…financial literacy education…is even more essential for those with less or limited economic means…Jessica Weaver, Financial Literacy Advocate
It seems when financial literacy is taught or discussed by the mainstream media it is usually by those who have achieved a certain level of financial success. The assumption is those who know how to make money, know how to manage it. Hence, they are financially literate.
This assumption poses two problems. One, frequently, people who are excellent at earning money are not good at managing it. That means they are not financially literate. Two, it creates the perception financial literacy is only for people who have significant incomes or wealth.
Again, everyone needs financial literacy education and personal finance skills. It is even more essential for those with less or limited economic means. The reason is straightforward. Their decisions will have a disproportionately larger impact on their short and long term financial stability, security and freedom compared to those with greater means.
These are the messages the mass media and all of us need to be communicating. And, we need a diverse set of voices, from all demographics, sharing these non-controversial public service communications to all communities and age groups, especially the young.
(3) Financial Literacy is Only For Those Who Love Discussing Finance
…Money is sometimes uncomfortable, taboo, or just plain boring to discuss. Yet it is an essential part of all of our lives…Jessica Weaver, Financial Literacy Advocate
Let’s face it – money can be an incredibly difficult topic to discuss. A study by Acorn found 68% of individuals surveyed would rather talk about their weight than discuss their finances.
Money is sometimes uncomfortable, taboo, or just plain boring to discuss. Yet it is an essential part of all of our lives. And, mastery of it is required to achieve a satisfactory level of well-being.
It is a topic we all need to find ways to discuss. It is not just a subject for finance geeks or talking heads on business channels. It is subject for the mother and her daughter looking to go to med school; the uncle and the nephew who want to buy an art gallery; and the grandparents and their grandkids who want to know when they too can retire.
Financial literacy is for those who love talking finances, those who absolutely abhor it, and everyone in between.
Not everyone has to read The Economist every day. But everyone does need financial literacy education.
Financial literacy is for EVERYONE! And, financial literacy needs to be marketed to everyone!
Future engineers, artists, and tradespeople all need to be equipped with personal finance knowledge, skills and tools just as much as their counterparts in the business world.
Not everyone has to be wealthy or love talking about money. But everyone has to manage money. And everyone should have a foundational financial education. The sooner one can learn about managing their money and becomes competent and confident in this endeavor, the better!
Discover More About Jessica Weaver
To discover more about Jessica Weaver and her passion for financial literacy visit her LinkedIn profile, checkout her bio below or listen to her discussion education on this RollCallEd. Jessica discussed how she became the youngest person in her community to become a Board of Education Member!
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