This week has been Women’s Money Week. I wrote about Saving earlier this week and posted How to Create a Budget That Works for You.
I have talked about my issues with money at great length on this blog. I’m not going to deny how ridiculous it sounds. There have been many educated people who have commented on my history with less than stellar comments. I think that when you understand money and have the type of mind that thinks ahead then stories like mine will sound ridiculous but when you’ve struggled with money, my story isn’t all that unique.
I think there are millions of people who have lived a life just like mine and millions still living it. My goal with this blog has been to stand up to my naivety and admit to my mistakes. I really want other people, especially women to make the changes (hopefully earlier than I have) that send them in the right direction with money. More than anything, I want parents to talk to their children about money. I want parents to be consciously teaching their children how to manage their finances. (I’d even like to make this a new career but haven’t been willing to take that step yet.)
I was young.
When I got my first credit card, I was just 19 years old. I was far too young to be holding a credit card. I wasn’t living an adult life. I was living a college students life. I had a part-time job on campus and I was living in the dorms. My life was about “getting things.” Getting drunk, getting good grades, getting the attention of the opposite sex (THAT was clearly a mistake given one of my recent blog posts) and sadly getting stuff.
As a college student, I was not in the position mentally or financially to hold a credit card. Most college students are exactly the same way.
I was dumb.
I wasn’t just uneducated. To be uneducated would mean that I had the option to learn about finances but chose not to. No I was dumb. I didn’t even think about money. I didn’t think about my future. I lived in the moment, as most college students do and it was setting the path to an adulthood full of bad choices. (Tweet this.)
I was naive.
When I did mature enough to actually think about my life after graduation, I was very naive. I had the line of thinking that I would be able to pay my bills when I graduated. Not only was that naive but it was WRONG. So wrong. I might have been able to pay off my debt if I had stopped spending like I made $50,000 but I didn’t. I continued to
spend money charge on my credit cards without thinking of the consequences.
What I Wish Had Happened
In an ideal world, I would have left high school with the foundation to personal finance. Whether that information came from my parents or the school system, it doesn’t matter. All high school students need this information before they leave the home.Budgeting, credit cards, saving and retirement are just the beginning of the topics that teens need before they are able to live on their own.
I was young, dumb and totally naive in my 20′s. In my 30′s, I was too wrapped up in life to learn those things until it was an absolute necessity. Life hits you fast, you need to learn about finances BEFORE it hits! (Tweet This.)
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2012. For more posts about money in your 20′s, 30′s and beyond see Money in Your 20′s/30′s/40′s/50′s/Retirement Roundup.
I also blog at A Five Star Life. I write about anything that comes to mind but try to focus on finding the good in daily life.
on March 9, 2012 at 11:14 am
Unfortunately, this is not a problem that effects just a small number of people. It stretches to so many age groups, and is especially horrendous for teens. Personally, I agree with you that all high schoolers need a solid financial education, before they venture out on their own. In fact, I think that it should really start with pre-schoolers. Nice post.
Anthony Thompson recently posted..Self Manager – Principal Characteristics of Highly Creative People
on March 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm
I was an idiot, too. I tried to open an online retail business that bombed because I did it on a whim. It sunk me $4K in the hole. Then I had friends that took advantage of me. I had 2 credit cards with a 10K limit combined on them. I used them. All.the.time (WTF were the companies thinking giving a 19 year old 10k?). We live and we learn. I always think that although that was a crappy time in my life, I’m glad I went through it or I might not know better now.
Daisy @ Add Vodka recently posted..Feeling Deflated – A Long, Rambly Post
Daisy @ Add Vodka(Quote)
That’s OK. Expensive lesson. Just don’t do it again.
101 Centavos recently posted..A Fistful of Links … Or, I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
I too had several credit cards in college that I should not have had. Because I went to an expensive university, I used the cards in conjunction with student loans to afford living expenses. Bad idea.
[email protected] recently posted..
on March 13, 2012 at 9:14 am
WOW! I am so glad to see I’m not alone. I’m currently trying to dig myself out from that dumb, naive phase you described so perfectly. I completely felt as if I was Donald Trump living the good life, wrong! I couldn’t agree more about having someone educate high school students. I feel it needs to become a mandatory class or at the very least have a seminar. I found your site via twitter and I am so glad! I look forward to reading your blog continually.
D recently posted..Ode to Sleep
There REALLY needs to be a mandatory Personal Finance credit. I keep seeing people I knew from high school in really hot water with lenders because they racked up credit cards without the discipline or finances to back up their spending. I’m lucky in that I don’t have living expenses to throw into the mix with my debt payments. Frankly, I think it should be mandatory as one course a year, starting with saving and moving up to retirement and investments. Otherwise we’ll keep getting these young adults with no financial background digging massive holes for themselves before they know what they’re doing.
I am very lucky that my father is a finance professional, and was able to instill in me the virtues of responsible spending and budgeting from a very young age. It’s a lesson I hope to impart on my two children when the time is right.
Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals(Quote)
I was educated (a little) about money and credit cards when I left home for college, and I got a credit card for emergencies. But those emergencies just kept popping up (I was living beyond my means for a portion of college), and I built up a fairly sizable debt for a penniless college student. I agree: your story (and mine!) are not unusual.
You say that you want to help educate others about finances; I think you would do great to volunteer to teach high schoolers about finances. You could relate your own financial mistakes and they would probably learn a lot from you. Could be a good step forward for you!
Amanda L Grossman recently posted..Frugal Confessions Friday – Frugal Living
Amanda L Grossman(Quote)
very good, look forward to view your other articles.http://www.gustavolima.org