Personal Finances: A Lifelong Task

The majority of children look to their parents for financial guidance. Sadly, the majority of American parents admittedly have a poor handle on their own personal finances, let alone anyone else’s. Imagine a young girl who is just entering college and being offered, for the first time in her life, a large sum of money under the title “student loan.” Never has this girl had to work for an allowance or get a job to support her needs. Her parents always paid for gifts and put her name on it for holidays and anytime she needed gas, clothes, or food, her father’s pocketbook would open up, and he never asked for the money back. How can anyone expect her to understand the immense responsibility of borrowing money? The young girl does not think twice before signing her name to the loan contract, thus beginning her financial decline.

Unfortunately, this all too common phenomenon is affecting us all economically. Due to the mass number of individuals who are borrowing without paying back and living beyond their means, all of our personal finances are suffering.

However, it is never too late to learn how to best control your personal finances. Many colleges, churches, and conference halls periodically offer classes that instruct individuals on how to create a budget, consolidate their debt, and become free of debt. Although these classes often cost a fee, they end up paying for themselves with the amount of knowledge the person will leave with.

If classes are not an option for you, don’t worry! There are many simple ways for you to understand your personal finances. Begin with writing down every regular bill you owe. Keep it basic to not distress yourself. Even just acknowledging your monthly bills compared to your monthly income can be an eye-opening experience. Then begin to look at the larger amounts of money you owe annually, and finally, the complete sum of debt you owe. Do not become overwhelmed. Remember that most Americans are in a similar boat as you, and that they can, and have, gotten out of it.

Think back to the time when you would ask, “Can you take me to the store?” and move away from childish tendencies towards accountability. Don’t wait any longer; be in charge of your personal finances today!

Our personal finances live with us for our entire lives. Take the time now to accept responsibility for your finances and as time goes by it will become second nature to all that you do. As any other chore once you have control of it the task will get much easier.

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