In case you haven’t noticed, “Financial Literacy” has become big news in the last few years. One of the greatest outcomes was the appointment of Jane Rooney as Canada’s first Financial Literacy Leader. Her role is to bring organizations together to discuss the need for education on the subject of money as well as to create awareness around the importance of financial literacy to Canadians.
Wikipedia defines “Financial Literacy” as the ability to understand how money works in the world: how someone manages to earn or make it, how that person manages it, how he/she invests it (turns it into more) and how that person donates it to help others. That’s a fairly broad explanation for good reason. Money means different things to different people. Being financially literate may not come easily for everyone.
I’d be the first to admit I am not an expert about anatomy. I can tell you I have ten fingers and toes but please don’t ask me where my liver is or any hidden organs for that matter. All I need to know is I am grateful I have organs even if I don’t know their exact location. Because of my lack of knowledge in the field of health science, I empathize with people when they tell me they are clueless about their finances.
Generally, we have a tendency to focus on the things we are good at or so-called experts. Our attention is given to the matters that earn us “a living”. Whether you are a truck driver, operating room nurse, or fire fighter, you are an expert in your occupation. In some cases, being an expert in every aspect of money isn’t vital but having the basic knowledge is. You still need to have “some” knowledge about managing it and using it to make your life enjoyable. While you know food is essential to create a well-balanced and healthy body, you don’t have to be an expert to develop good eating habits. Much the same can be true about money. You don’t have to be an expert to know the basic fundamentals about saving and spending.
Thomas A. Edison said, "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." This deep-rooted message speaks to the person who makes every effort to save but feels they just can’t; to the one who feels he will be in debt forever; and to the couple who believe they can’t afford to retire. The overwhelming feelings of defeat and fear make taking steps to learn more about money management difficult. The answer lies in learning more, asking for help when you don’t understand AND knowing it’s okay not to know everything. Additional education and resources for financial literary became a reality to help you become smarter about money. The end result, when you put forth your best efforts, is that you will feel more in control of your money and your life.
In order to move forward in our lives, I read that there are three questions we need to ask ourselves. This exercise can apply to other aspects of your life, not just money management.
What do you need to start doing?
What do you need to stop doing?
What do you need to keep on doing?
The answers do not have to be “over-the-top”. You can focus on taking small steps toward making small changes. Learning something is far better than simply giving up in defeat. Take the time today to examine and mull over your present circumstances. What are your answers to these questions?