The importance of money is impressed upon most Americans as soon as we’re old enough to buy candy. But the importance of money management is an entirely different story, says self-made millionaire Mike Finley.
“Think about all that we do to prepare children for the world; we fill them up with things we think are most important for doing well as adults and spend tens of thousands of dollars for higher education, but they never take a class on how to manage personal finances,” says Finley, author of “Financial Happine$$,” which discusses his journey to financial literacy and applying the principles that allowed him to retire from the Army a wealthy man. “Our culture celebrates privacy and self determination, which is why, I think, we don’t want to tell students how they should spend their money, but I think young people are hungry for guidance.”
Seventy-six percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent CashNetUSA survey. That percentage varies with other studies; however, the percentage never dips below at least 50 percent of Americans who have very little in savings, says Finley, whose voluntary night class on financial literacy at the University of Northern Iowa is always packed beyond capacity. Finley identifies your best allies and the voices that do not have your best interests at heart when it comes to money management: