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Why We Need To Get Smart About Money

A few weeks ago, I came across a book that made me stop and think.

The book, “Prince Charming Isn’t Coming,” addressed the pressing need for us to get smart about money as early as possible. The author, Barbara Stanny, shared how she was always made to feel like she never had to worry about money. Growing up, she was shown that someone would always be there to save her and take care of money for her. She got married to a successful man, whom everyone loved. Her husband began investing all their money in the stock market, and, before she knew it, he had lost it all. She described how clueless she was about his investments because she would carelessly sign any paper he presented to her, assuming that he would always take care of it.

Her husband lost all her money, fled the country and left her to take care of their three young children.

Reading this book, I was struck with a scary truth. At the age of 19, I’ve never had to think about investing or the stock market. To be completely honest, I didn’t know a thing about how to invest money or even what to do with my money, besides storing it in my bank account. We need to stop waiting for a financial crisis to get smart about our money. We need to start right now with what we have. In the end, you only have yourself to depend upon. No one is going to be able to save you. A parent, a husband, an accountant or even a money manager will not save you if you are unaware about what to do with your money.

I stumbled upon this quote recently:

“Wealth is not so much what you have. Wealth comes from what you do with what you have.”

You have to start now. Educate yourself. Take a class in finance. Talk to different people and seek advice. Take some time out of your day to read The Wall Street Journal.

“There is nothing about money that cannot be understood by a person of reasonable curiosity, diligence and intelligence,” Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said. We need to take control of our lives right now. Don’t wait for a crisis to become financially aware and responsible. Start now. Educate yourself and let go of the idea that someone or something is going to save you.

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