Growing up in a wealthy family, I should have learned a few things about money, but my parents were so ashamed and secretive about their finances that I went into the world without knowing anything. No one taught me how to open a bank account, pay a bill, or balance a checkbook.
My dad was a CEO and my mom was a certified financial planner, so the irony is palpable.
When I entered a monastery and took a vow of poverty, I assumed that I would never have to deal with money again, so that wouldn’t be a problem.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
My colleagues all worked in academia, and we had more higher diplomas than a convention of philosophers. Yet none of us could read a credit card statement.
This is how we ended up in bankruptcy.
Our story highlights a crucial problem – finance is a foreign language.
We don’t teach kids the language of finance and then we wonder why most adults struggle with money.
We send financially illiterate young adults into the world and then they fall into terrible trouble because they never had the tools to be successful.
The world of finance has a unique vocabulary, set of rules, and etiquette. This world is a bizarre parallel place, operating side by side with your daily life.
It’s like being a child and realizing, for the first time, what it’s like to be an adult. There is a completely different one …
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