Financially Stupid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   "Workhard in school so you can get a great job with a six-figure paycheck."Growing up, I would hear advice like this that was supposed to motivate me, andit did. As a result, I am irritated at the sight of a B. After school, I'm in myroom swimming in homework until bedtime. I fill my head with history, biology,algebra, chemistry, geometry and more. I'll chase my tail for the school yearjust to experience the euphoria of another A. Perfection is my quest; failure isnot an option.

But I can't help noticing something is terribly wrong. Myadult counterparts work like machines to get that next big promotion. Manybelieve a promotion will solve their financial problems, but in reality it onlygets them deeper in debt. Even though they have a lot of intelligence, they arefinancially stupid.

It is obvious to me our school system is antiquated.We live in the information age, yet are bound by obsolete ideals. Society forbidsthat we not know James K. Polk was the eleventh president, but it's okay if wedon't know how to balance a check book. In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosakiwrites, "The main reason people struggle financially is because they havespent years in school but learned nothing about money. The result is that peoplelearn to work for money, but never learn to have money work for them."

Whether you like it or not, the hardest way to make money is to work forsomebody else. I believe our school system is biased toward this employeestate-of-mind. Too many courses we will never need are offered, and real worldcourses are rare.

The outcome is yet another financially stupidgeneration. Too many people believe the easiest way to find money is to climb thecorporate ladder. In reality, it's the hardest way. Employees work the hardestand receive the worst tax advantages. They go to work every day and make someoneelse rich, while the government takes half of what they earn. If you look at ourhistory, the richest of the rich got that way by building businesses, but wherewas that lecture in any school's curriculum?

Society demands avocabulary for accounting, business, computers and the stock market; most schoolsdo not provide it. I know adults who don't know what a 401(K) is. Schools need toshake their industrialist mentality and get in tune with today's occupationalneeds. More financial literacy classes must be offered. Students are beingcheated of opportunities by not learning their options.

I am not implyingthat what school systems teach is bad, only that it's insufficient. There is awhole other world out there be-sides English, science, math and history, and ifyou're not prepared for it, your hard-earned money will vanish. Everyone needs toknow how to manage their funds, but millions do not. Get educated so you canretire young and enjoy life! ?




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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