It’s easy to assume that everyone thinks the same way you do. Obviously there are those that have radically different viewpoints, but during your day to day existence you rarely come across people that completely challenge your thinking. Your environment, your family and friends generally support your view of The Way Things Are.
If you even given them a moment’s thought, your beliefs about money are one of the things that are rarely questioned. They were picked up somewhere along the way, then strengthened and shaped by your life experience. If you happen to bring them up in conversation, few will challenge them, even if their view is different to yours. In fact, you might be shocked to know that not everyone thinks the same way as you. About anything really, but let’s talk about money.
Back in my early 20’s, faced with a ‘giant’ mortgage and a job that left me feeling trapped, 30 years seemed like an eternity. It felt like a ball and chain that would drag me into retirement. Faced with spending my whole adult life (and more than I’d spent on this earth up until that point) paying it off, I devoured my step father’s investing library looking for a solution.
Up to then, I believed that everyone takes 30 years to pay off a home loan. I was wrong. Thirty years may be the loan term, but it doesn’t have to take that long. It doesn’t even have to take 25 or 20.
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I’ve always teased my brother in law about his t-shirt wearing. Every week he wears the same couple of shirts on rotation for months at a time. He isn’t lacking in the t-shirt department either. He has stacks. I know, I’ve give him a few! But he always grabs the top one from the pile resulting in the same look week in week out, until he flips over the pile and starts the process from the bottom.
Not being able to see more than one layer down in your clothes drawer is a common problem. I know, because I’ve been asking to see everyone’s clothes drawers recently and they all look much the same; piles of shirts, pants and shorts stacked on top of each other, neatly or otherwise. But there is a better way to fold your clothes and this one allows you to see your stuff more clearly.
Financial literacy is probably one of life’s most valuable skills. In fact, improving financial literacy is seen by governments as critical. It’s so important, that I’ve noticed these ads appearing in the local paper:
Financial literacy course
Which totally inspired me to attend amongst an imaginary room full of socked and sandaled near-retirees. As useful as those seminars may be, they’re no place for a self respecting 30 something. It’s a small understatement to suggest that financial literacy has an image problem. It’s seriously not sexy. Just compare it to the credit card ads: