OK, so this one hasn’t actually happened yet. But it’s going to!
Practical financial education is not taught in our schools. Responsible financial behavior is not a “sexy” pop culture theme. So many young people start their financial lives without any understanding of what it takes to manage their money.
If we as a society truly understood how to manage personal finances, would so many have taken out mortgages they couldn’t afford? Would so many pile debt on top of debt until bankruptcy? I truly believe the answers are “no” and “no”.
This lack of education needs to change!
I could have started a campaign to change the school curriculum. Talked to school boards, wrote letters to my senator, etc. I could have done this and much more, and I seriously doubt it would have had much of an impact. I can assure you I wouldn’t have felt like I was making an impact unless I was actually seeing things change.
I could volunteer for Junior Achievement and reach a few kids a day and then hope at least one or two of them actually retained anything a week later. I’m certain this does help some individuals, but I wanted to make a bigger difference.
I needed to find a way to reach a large audience and get young people to listen hear what I have to say. They don’t have to listen, but I do want them to hear it. Then it hit me.
People will listen if I can entertain them.
Whom do you think your average 18-year-old girl would rather take financial advice from: Dave Ramsey or Taylor Swift? Considering the fact that 99% of 18-year-old girls have never heard of Dave Ramsey according to statistics I made up (but are probably fairly accurate), I’m gonna guess Taylor Swift.
If Taylor Swift tweeted: “just opened my Roth IRA!!!!!! its so ez!!! U shld get 1 too!!!” I guarantee you’d have thousands of young people opening Roth IRAs in the next five minutes. Those same kids could sit through a full day lecture from Dave Ramsey on retirement savings and never even consider acting on it.
Now imagine if she were singing songs about responsible finance.
One of my awesome readers Suzanne actually put it perfectly in the comments of one of my music videos: “I always say I have to be entertained to be engaged… you got me!”
This is how I’m going to change the world: Entertain people first, and teach them next. I’ll say it once more for emphasis:
Entertain people first, and teach them next.
That’s it. That’s why I’m here. One person can change the world.
*Note: All stories this week are about why I’m not qualified to give you professional financial advice while I am qualified to make you laugh while I give my financial perspective that’s generally pretty good.