A heated conversation between three women waiting at a bus stop discussing finances resulted in this verbal assessment:
“If you don’t know how money works, you’ll be a smart broke person.“
Do you agree?
I was at that bus stop reading a book and listening to the easy-to-overhear discussion.
These women were passionate about their belief in whether or not a college education is instrumental to make money.
You’ve certainly heard stories about people who made millions of dollars without attending college.
The first person I remember hearing about in that category was the late Darryl Dawkins. Professional basketball players are found in college through scouts and then drafted by teams upon graduation, but Dawkins was signed after attending high school. Pro-ball salaries weren’t yet in the millions, but his non-college entry was an industry phenomenon in 1975.
So much has changed since then regarding education and money. Formal education is more expensive, and money is more difficult to amass. For those who suddenly find themselves with the ability to make lots of money, the windfall refers back to the assessment. Without financial education, in college or otherwise (mentoring, adult school, learning centers, etc.), money can be lost as quickly as it’s found.
I began my formal training on money management when working at Dean Witter, the former investment firm. The company offered employees free in-house programs to learn finances, time management, and how to read the Wall Street Journal along with other courses. I completed the classes mentioned here which became the foundation for my financial training. It was a blessing.
You may not work for an investment firm, but you have the opportunity to learn about finances wherever you are in the world. Courses are available in person and online, including through the popular site KahnAcademy.org.
Here’s a simple three-step start.
1. Write down the money topics you want to learn. Don’t choose trigonometry if you need addition or division. The basics are a great refresher.
2. Select one topic from your list to begin. Perhaps it’s a class to understand your mortgage statement, interest charges, or something else you receive by mail each month.
3. Type the subject into your web browser to find instruction. Review the selections and choose a class that fits your lifestyle, one that’s hopefully available online 24 hours. That’s the availability of the online class I teach.
What you seek isn’t always labeled as a course. It may be a workshop, event, or seminar. What matters is that you are pursuing education so you understand the numbers.
There is no longer an excuse for not knowing as much about money as possible. Gone are the days when you were hampered by university classes scheduled at times you could not attend. The knowledge is now everywhere. Pick a course, learn, and continue to learn so smart and broke is not your future.