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why I wish my parents taught me financial literacy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hawaii chapter.

I would just like to preface this article with this is my personal experience with money and I will be talking about my personal struggles. My experiences may or may not be the same as yours. I am not a professional financial advisor; these are just tips I am learning from school, social media, and my network. Take any piece of “advice” in this article at your own risk.

Money is what makes the world go round.

We’ve all heard the quote, “money is what makes the world go round”. And unfortunately, that’s so incredibly true.

As of right now, money has taken over every aspect of my life and I am struggling to get out of its chokehold on me. I basically am looking forward to my next paycheck either the same day that I get paid or the following day. I’m constantly living paycheck to paycheck. And it sucks. It sucks a lot. I have student loans that I have to start paying for after graduation, I have to pay family and friends back for helping me pay my tuition. It’s just a really bad situation with money.

But on top of owing people money and struggling to buy things that I need (like toothpaste, paper towels, deodorant, you know the basic stuff), I have a serious spending problem. I could easily blame it on my bipolar disorder, but I also partially blame it on the fact that I was never taught financial literacy. I feel like in Asian households, mine specifically being a local Filipino household, money was a taboo topic. You don’t talk about money at all, not the good nor the bad. Therefore, I was never taught how to be good with money. This could be tied to a generational thing as well because my parents were also never taught about financial literacy.

Fortunately, right now, my parents now know more about money through knowledge and the internet. But that information and knowledge would’ve been nice years ago.

I’m currently on my 2nd credit card because my 1st one got closed because I just could not pay it off since I had no money whatsoever and couldn’t keep track of my due dates and minimum payments. 

I’m still trying to work on getting my finances in order but I’m learning a lot through my business courses, TikTok and Youtube, and my network.

Here are some tips that I’d like to pass on to you!

  • Turn to the internet for financial knowledge. There’s loads of resources on social media and financial analysts and people who are just into finances have pages just to give you important information.
  • Pay off your credit card ASAP. You don’t want to deal with interest charges sneaking up on you and increasing your minimum payment. Ideally, you should only be utilizing 30% of your credit card limit. Also, try paying more than the minimum balance if possible. Paying more helps with avoiding interest to tack onto your balance.
  • Never spend more than you can pay! Spending more than you can pay back is a recipe for disaster and allows you to get stuck in a bad cycle of catching up with credit card payments.
  • Don’t open/attempt to open multiple accounts too quickly, especially if you’re denied. These actions cause what’s called a “hard inquiry” on your credit score which lowers your score a few points each time. Too many of these in a short time can indicate that you’re desperate and cause you to not qualify for loans/credit cards. Apply for what you need and let your accounts sit. Don’t worry though! Those inquiries will eventually drop off after a few months or so and are only a temporary thing!
  • Build your credit. A solid rule of thumb is to only use your credit cards on transactions that you can pay using the money in your bank account. Use your credit card to pay then immediately go to your credit card app and pay off that amount since you know you have the money. Doing this also makes sure that you aren’t using more money than you actually have in your accounts.
Aloha everyone! I'm Mary Joy, born and raised on the island of O'ahu. I'm a senior majoring in Business Management. On my free time, I enjoy finding new places to eat, spending time with friends, and taking naps :) I enjoy writing for HerCampus and showing everyone what I love about the island!