The surest path to financial success for anyone begins with learning economic principles at an early age. Historically speaking, adults instruct black children that the only path to financial success occurs via the securing of a collegiate degree and gainful employment. This old strategy has mostly expired as employers currently have no loyalty to employees who have enriched them via their labor. I posted that same question on my Facebook page. Two of the responses stated that they could not teach what they didn't know. My response was that we live in the information age and there is no excuse not to make sure that our children get a superb Financial Education.
Considering that we exist in a technological age where access to information is unprecedented, ignorance should never be considered an excuse for the absence of financial literacy. Make no mistake about it, not even sub par educational institutions are a formidable obstacle to the garnering of financial knowledge. In fact, the most significant barrier to economic illiteracy is the failure of African-Americans to abandon worldviews and lifestyles that have never worked for them. It is overdue that the cycle of multi-generational poverty is broken by turning the focus of every member of our youth toward financial matters.
Instead of receiving praise for mastering the latest manifestation of black popular culture inappropriateness, parents should emphasize on their children learning the Compound Interest Law of 72. Stimulating the minds of African-American children regarding economic issues is not complicated. By teaching them the value of saving a significant portion of their allowance and the essential nature of long term investment, financial literacy would be restored and Black commercial waste would end.
We live in the information age. It is time to change the dynamics of how our children view and spend money. Far too long, African-Americans have occupied the position of consumers, instead of producers. Even though Black Business Ownership has seen a sharp increase in the last 15 years, not enough information has been passed to our youth whom far too often consider employee status to be a desirable location. Proper Financial Literacy is the only escape from such dire economic straits. In this time of age, an instant alteration to how our children consider financial resources is achievable.
Here's a list of Financial Concepts that our children can significantly benefit by:
1. Save/Spend- How to keep a portion of your salary while budgeting
2.Debt/Income- Recognize what is owed against the net income
3. Gross/Net Income-Distinguish spendable income after taxes
4. Consumer/Producer-Recognizing the difference of building sustainable financial systems as opposed to only spending. In addition, they will know how income is produced and that they have options besides a regular job as seen below:
The Four Ways to Produce Income:
1. Employee (Works for a company)
2. Business Owner ( Sole Proprietor, Limited Liability Corporation, etc.pasttime)
3. Investing in Stocks ( Invests funds in companies to acquire ownership)
4. Self- Employed ( Independently Contracted)
The above information is merely an introduction to the issue of increasing financial literacy. To spark a long-overdue conversation at encouraging African-Americans to take responsibility for their present plight and future trajectory. Allowing outsiders influence regarding such matters will only guarantee that we remain in this impoverished state making the same financial mistakes that we always have.