Americans (and others) are financially illiterate. That isn’t meant to be an insult or slur, and don’t just take my word for it. Here are some studies that look at the impact of financial literacy (or lack thereof), and more pointedly how affects from Covid-19 impacted those with less financial savviness.
So, why is that? Or perhaps more importantly, how can we change that for the better? My guess at why so many are financially illiterate is that personal finance can be a very complex subject matter, with confusing and conflicting approaches, and that some people simply find it boring — or at least something they would rather not deal with today. Or at all.
I happen to be one of the minority weirdo nerds that really dig spreadsheets and geek out over personal and business financial issues. But I know not many people are. And being all jazzed up about money, investing, budgets and finance in general doesn’t make me especially brilliant, or really any smarter than anyone else.
In fact, I find many of the topics on finance and investment advice that I read to be pretty confusing and contradictory as well. So, if you are in that boat, it is not just you. I am in there with you.
I have, however, began to slowly develop a personal strategy for dealing with our family’s finances. Along the way I came to realize that financial planning is a very personal and specific activity. This is likely why a lot of generic financial advice can be confusing, or off-putting, because it really doesn’t apply specifically to your particular situation.
So as a way to make financial advice more “digestible”, and applicable to any given specific scenario, I have decided to write a series of short pieces — bite-sized, if you will, that the reader can pick up and use, or ignore completely and move on.
Think of it as a buffet filled with finger food. Take what you want, ignore anything that doesn’t sound like it fits on your particular plate, and begin to assemble your own financial feast one small piece at a time.