Why Don’t The Schools Teach Personal Finance?

I watched a homeless news show/doc on TV last night and wondered why a mother and daughter who works would stay at a motel b/c they were homeless.  I can’t picture a motel going for any less than $30/night even in the worst neighborhoods of LA.  That totals to about $900/mo.  I live in an studio apt that’s only $850/mo in a nice part of town.  I just cheeked craigslist and found many at ranging from $400 – $600 in LA.  That’s ridiculous, as they have no stove or fridge.  It might be that they don’t have the proper credit to get an apt, but it stated that they had many relatives with whom they spent some time with.  I’m sure one of them could have co-signed for them.

One thing they keep saying is that everyone is about one paycheck away from homelessness and it can happen to anyone.  I keep thinking about that esp now when I’m not getting my regular check because the tenant will move out by tomorrow and this is the worst time to find new tenants.  My property manager said that next time he’ll do a 13-month lease so it won’t end up at this time again next year and instead will be in January – which is easier to rent.

I still can’t believe that personal finance is not taught in school and stuff that you’ll never use like Algebra is taught repeatedly – and I have been teaching and tutoring math and physics for years – I only use it in teachings, never in real life.  The first thing I’m teaching my kid is about FICO score, etc.

I think kiva.org is an awesome way which is based on the incredible Grameen bank which allows people to help themselves.  I have a hard time with charities as it’s not self-propagating.

I still can’t get over the fact that the homeless lady on the news was spending more than I was per month on rent.  I just don’t get it.



One Response to “Why Don’t The Schools Teach Personal Finance?”

  1. Homeless in San Diego Says:

    My brother lived in a motel for a while. He was a serious drunkard and it was affecting his work. He had no credit, and no money for a first month rent and deposit so getting an apartment would be impossible. I myself was in that situation. Despite having two jobs – one full time and one part time, I just couldn’t save up the $1400 I needed to move into an apartment with my wife and children. Fortunately, my mother believed enough in me to make the investment and we were fortunate for her to be able to get our apartment. I know there are many families that live that way. Some have relatives they can rent from. Others don’t have anyone or nobody trusts them due to past financial problems so they end up staying in motels. My brother and his pregnant girlfriend also used to stay at campgrounds. It’s true, it ends up being just as expensive in the long run but what else can one do? Homeless shelters would be the best alternative and a program that allows them to work and save enough money to get their own place. But that could take time. Therefore it is extremely important that everyone be responsible for his or herself and do what is necessary and morally correct to fix their situation. I am doing exactly that right now. My wife and son went to stay with her family for a while. We left our apartment and I’m living out of my car and working every day of the week in order to pay off debt. I just decided that it is time to make the change instead of waiting for something good to just happen. After waiting a long time and many disappointments we made a tough decision but it is working. In the first month I’ve already lowered my debt by $2000. Not to mention I also caught up on all the other bills. Not bad for a little hard work. The other benefit is that I’m driving less and not spending so much time in crawling commuter traffic. My diet is simple yet very healthy. I’ve got lots of energy. I work out nearly every day. The gym is basically my home where I park my car so it serves as a place to shower as well. The only tough part is missing my wife and son, however, we will be seeing each other very soon and it will be a wonderful reunion. We must sacrifice for a time to achieve great gains. Sometimes it’s our time. Sometimes our money. Sometimes our comforts. But without sacrifice good things just don’t seem to happen.

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