Financial Literacy

What are we teaching our kids, about how the world really works?

The answer is, not very much. And yet, public education barely covers the notion of earning a living, taxes, insurance, credit debt or any number of topics on managing money. We walk blindly into debt traps

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.
— Benjamin Franklin

Buying a Car

As an adult, do you know how to best buy a car? Is a lease really a good idea?

When I recently bought a car, the financing manager asked me what kind of image I wanted to portray, as I looked at a base Kia Soul.

“If I wanted to feel good about myself, I’d get a Golden Retriever. I need the basic utility of a car, to get around town, and this one seems to suit my needs,” I replied.

And after driving my 1998 Honda CRV into the ground, I was looking forward to a little maintenance free driving, in my daily commute from Melbourne to Orlando and home.

The best solution in buying a car is to not go into debt. Drive what you can afford. Advertising tells you that your car is a status symbol that represents who you are as a person. Nonsense. It’s just wheels that gets you around. Save up, buy used, and stop wasting your hard-earned cash on this worst possible investment.

Buying a Home

Are we teaching the next generation, the value of home ownership?

What happens to cities and municipalities, when we don’t own our own homes? In Florida, residential taxes account for most city revenues. As infrastructure fails, we can easily end up like Detroit; a dwindling tax base and crumbling roads.

Financial illiteracy strikes at the foundation of our society. When we don’t educate, teach and train best practices, we’re limiting our future. I don’t want to rail on the shortfalls of public education, but as a society, we’ve got to inspire our kids.

Home ownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. Our system is built on it and the freedom it can provide. But, like anything that matters, you have to work for it. Save up. Live within your means. And don’t make your home a debt anchor that limits your future.

Credit Card Debit

Predatory lending is an enemy of our collective prosperity.

Usury, is the illegal action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest.

What once applied to loan sharks is now common place, to the detriment of so many. The Westminster Confession of Faith, a confession of faith upheld by the Reformed Churches, teaches that usury—charging interest at any rate—is a sin prohibited by the eighth commandment.

  • Last week, I received an invitation for a credit card from my local Home Improvement store, with 22% interest rate.
  • PayDay loans are a booming industry. Google “Payday loans near me” for a local list.
  • Bait and switch, low introductory rates, and cash back cards all lure you into debt. Don’t fall for it.

“Neither a borrower, nor a Lender Be” —William Shakespeare, Hamlet

This quote reverberated in my mind, every time I thought about accepting the PPP “Loan”, during COVID. Let sound principles guide you, and avoid falling into debt traps.

Can we change course?

The solution is simple and clear, we must teach solid financial principles. Our future is literally at stake.

Dave Ramsey is my favorite radio personality. The Ramsey Show has been guiding consumers since 1992, with the 3rd largest audience in syndication in the US.

Ramsey Education Sponsors: Leaving a Legacy in Their Community

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The Ramsey Show

The third largest radio talk show in America, The Ramsey Show, formerly known as The Dave Ramsey Show, is heard by more than 14 million listeners each week on more than 600 radio stations, The Ramsey Show podcast, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, and a 24-hour online streaming video channel. The caller-driven show features Ramsey’s advice on avoiding money mistakes and his step-by-step plan to get out of them. The Ramsey Show celebrated 25 years on the air in 2017.

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