You might not realize it but we are in the middle of a financial literacy boom. Everyone from your employer to your bank to your 401(k) provider is trying to teach you about your money. Problem is, they are going about it all wrong. When your bank gives you resources to improve your credit score it’s all good and well until you understand they are just trying to help you improve your credit score so you can borrow more.
The other problem with financial literacy is that you already know everything you need to know. No really, you do. What you have is a problem with your financial behavior. You know what you need to know, but you aren’t doing what you need to do. We are all guilty of knowing the best thing to do and not doing it. It’s almost exactly like managing your weight.
You know what foods are better for you, you know exercise is important, but knowing isn’t enough. Knowing doesn’t keep you in shape. Changing your behavior is the only thing that will change your situation. This is how it is with your financial life. You know how to budget, you just choose not to. You know debt hurts your future, but you take it on anyway.
The only way to change is to use your knowledge. Be open to the challenge of changing your behavior. Some days you’ll win and some days you lose, but you’ll always lose if you never try.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.