You’ve heard knowledge is power. Wouldn’t you prefer to be powerful, especially when it comes to your finances? A recent poll by investment firm Hennick Wealth Management suggests though, sometimes the hardest part to gaining control is admitting your lack of knowledge and understanding in order to learn.
The same study, asked survey participants about a number of made-up financial terms and products comprised of fake industry jargon. When asked questions about specific products (which were made up), a surprising number of people claimed to have the fake products, rather than indicating “I don’t know.”
This survey reveals two things: the financial industry can be very intimidating, especially if your financial knowledge is limited. Also, it shows how willing people are to concede control of their finances, for fear of looking foolish for not being financially savvy.
“Truthfully, many people don’t know nearly enough about their personal finances. But knowing more about credit, debt and investing means that you can make better decisions,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director at the Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
“Sometime we let our own insecurities get in the way of our own progress. This will hurt you especially when it comes to your finances.”
Becoming financially literate doesn’t mean you need to become an economist or a financial professional. Get personal with your finance. Start with some basic money questions that might be troubling you: What the heck’s an APR? Why doesn’t my credit card balance ever go down? I keep to my budget. Why don’t I ever get ahead? These typical questions are not great mysteries of the universe, and you don’t have to stay in the dark. Becoming financially literate will unlock the door.
This is 100 per cent reversible
If there is a positive side to a lack of financial knowledge, it is a trend that is completely reversible. All you have to do is decide that you’re going to take steps towards educating yourself about your finances and about your available options.
The really good news is that there are lots of resources available for financial learning, including Consolidated Credit’s Debt Learning Centre. It’s there for the taking.
Education = Strategy
There is a reason why we send our kids to school every day and pursue post-secondary education in hopes of securing a better job. Education provides strategies and skills – whether they are hands on or purely academic, to help process larger problems. The same principle applies to learning about your finances.
You wouldn’t expect to be able to perform surgery without going to medical school. You wouldn’t expect to know how to fix a car without being taught. Why, when it comes to your finances, would you expect to be successful in achieving your goals, without employing the same effort towards learning the needed skills?
Don’t understand something? Ask questions- whether from your credit counsellor, banker, friends- or from the internet. Still don’t understand? Ask again.
Contrary to what many people may think, admitting that you don’t know something is not a sign of weakness or lack of intelligence. It’s a sign of strength and commitment to a strategy meant to deliver success.
Do you understand all of the financial options available to you? What do you know about credit card debt, interest rates or saving? We can help you get on the right path. Call one of credit counsellors or check out our free online debt analysis tool to get started.