Blog for Financial Literacy: Talk About Money

This post is part of the Blog for Financial Literacy campaign started by Glenn Cooke of Life Insurance Glenn asked dozens of bloggers to devote their November 15 post to sharing their “single best financial tip,” in recognition of Financial Literacy Month. I am not a financial blogger, but I couldn’t resist adding my tip to the pool.

Talk About Money“, pretty simple but requires you to take an active approach to discussing this topic. For many families and individuals it’s taboo to bring the subject of money up. While discussing the full details of your financial situation might be too uncomfortable there is the chance to start small. The discussion isn’t about how much money you make or your net worth but more about your approach to saving and spending.

I encourage you to ask your parents about their financial situation. While you may get  push back to begin with, stick with it. If your parents are older then you might be suddenly responsible for their finances. Better for you to have an idea now where things stand.

Talk to your friends about what they are doing to save money. Learning how they have reduced cable bills, mortgage rates and setup discount brokerage accounts will put money in your pocket. Which you can then use to buy your friend drinks, preferably beer.

If talking with family or friends isn’t an option then the internet is a great resource of information. Many bloggers cover financial topics of a specific nature. Find one that covers an area you are interested in learning more about and ask questions in the comments if you need more information. All of the financial bloggers I have talked to are very keen to answer reader comments, sharing information is why they started blogging in the first place.  No question is a dumb one, you can ask Dan Bortolotti of Canadian Couch Potato, about a few of my questions. The Blog for Financial Literacy has a great list of finical blogs to get you started.

I believe one of the failings of our schools is that they turn out educated members of our society without giving them any idea of how the financial world works. When it comes to negotiating job offers, getting a descent mortgage rate, saving for the future or understanding taxes, many people leave school with no idea how these important things work. We all seem to be learning on our own, by trial and error. My solution is to start talking about money, you can start now by commenting below.

Alberta missing the link

I was born and raised in Calgary, spent a great 16 years there.  I still have a soft spot for the province and defend it from people’s belief that it is filled with right wing conservatives.  I always felt the province had a special sort of “conservative” view that was for smaller government and business, but pretty much middle of the road on everything else. Above all I always thought people in the province looked out for each other.  I started having some doubts about this view when the tar sands projects were allowed to run rampant with a lack of concern about the future of these areas and the people living downstream.

Well my doubts have been sadly bolstered this week with the announcement of a new bill with a section allowing parents to remove their kids from classes when certain topics are discussed.  I can understand that some parents may want to take care of sex education at home.  I however can’t fathom why the law of evolution would be a possible topic to miss.  Sure I understand that some people’s religious beliefs don’t jive well with parts of evolution but the science of evolution is a fact.  What about gravity or geology,  I can only imagine the young earth people lining up to remove kids for these topics as well.

Our government and education are supposed to be secular.  Science classes should be taught on the basis of scientific knowledge and not pandering to religious groups.  If they are really this insecure with their beliefs then I suggest home schooling.  This way the kids can blame the parents when they are older and ask them why they missed out on the fundamentals of their education, while they try to find a career in which this knowledge doesn’t matter.

For a province rich in field of natural science, think the Royal Tyrrell Museum, it seems strange to still be having these debates.

I hope the people of Alberta tell the government to get back on track.