Financial literacy, unfortunately, is not taught in schools. Unless you took up financial management as a course or grew up with it, then probably you would have an idea of what I’m talking about. Other than that, we are left with the financial examples of our family and friends. And to add to this glaring lack, consumerism and materialism are continuously shoved down our throats every moment of the day making financial literacy a dying age.
With consumerism and materialism, there is this need to keep up with the Joneses. Then before you know it, putting on a fake life follows. But more of that topic on a later issue. Going back…
I am just fortunate that I have learned the value of money early on and what it represents. I have learned that money is only a resource and I want to make sure that I am able to fully utilize this resource for things/experiences/activities that are worthwhile and bring genuine happiness both for me and the people that are important in my life.
I have fully embraced the concept of living below my means. This minimalist approach has been going on for quite a few years now and for the first time in my young adult life have I been able to experience peace both for my finances and future.
On a personal note as well, I have never had this inclination for jealousy or envy most especially when it comes to material things. I was not raised with that kind of mind set. I come from a working class background, and my family always minded our own business. This is why the topic of comparisons was never brought up because everyone mostly, was busy working, doing or creating!
Why the emphasis on financial literacy? It’s because financial literacy is the path to peace of mind. As most of you know, a person who knows how to handle, invest and share their money is set for life.
Financial literacy also means having a budget. Here are the top reasons why a budget is necessary:
Budgets mean you have a plan — a budget frees us to tell our money what to do each month. I have a plan for every peso that I earn. I have lots of dreams for the future and know I will achieve them because I have a plan.
Budgets mean having peace — nothing is more important to me but having peace of mind. Things will happen outside of my budget: family members getting sick, retrenchment, etc. A budget takes the emergency out of these situations. It brings peace into the financial inconveniences of life.
Budgets will change your future — without a plan, you will wander aimlessly. There is this couple I know that is buried deep in debt but refuse to acknowledge their situation, even living above their means, essentially putting on a fake life with it. And you know what they say about marriage, money and debt, right?
Without a budget, couples (and single people) will spend aimlessly with nothing to show for their efforts. A budget puts effort behind dreams.
Budgets help you stay on the same page with your loved ones — I know how much money I have, where it needs to be spent, and what my financial goals are because everything is in black and white. If it’s not in the budget, it doesn’t get spent. If I want to spend money on something, I need to make the necessary financial adjustments and add it to the budget.
Aside from the above, my personal reasons for sticking to my budget and living my lifestyle are:
1.) It allows me to share and give generously
2.) It allows me to spend on quality items (food, clothes, etc.)
3.) It helps me save for my future
4.) I am more in control of my money
Running a tight ship, I call my financial life, has never been more rewarding.
How about you? Are we on the same page, here?