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Tackling Personal Finance- Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

May 27, 2015

football gamePersonal finance is a funny subject- sometimes taboo, awkward at best, always emotional, seemingly simple, not often discussed among our closest of friends. Couple that mouthful with boring subject matter, unfamiliar terms and lack of standard education in our school system and a perfect storm is brewing. I could go on but I won’t. No wonder the alarm bells are sounding with respect to the state of our financial health.

I hate to be negative, but sometimes it’s necessary to drive action.

If you want to make the most of your money (and who doesn’t), start thinking about what you don’t know. And, most importantly, what you can do to change that.

I love the term “unconscious incompetence” because we all have our own version of it. It means not knowing what you don’t know. I’ve seen this happen in the realm of personal finance. Ignorance is NOT bliss, especially when we all want to stretch our precious dollars further.

I am far from competent in certain areas of my life and I’m FINALLY willing to admit it. Luckily, personal finance isn’t one of them. But cooking is and I’m still trying to accept it (with much embarrassment). Cooking will always be a means to an end for me, a “work in progress” that I need to deal with (and get help with!) on a regular basis. After hours of reflection, I think I finally get it…I’m not interested, motivated or good at cooking (my husband and kids have known it for years!). OK, back to personal finance…

In a recent mini global quiz, I was discouraged to learn that only 30% of Americans answered all three questions right. This poor showing was replicated in many other developed countries around the world. The questions asked were grade school math material…or so I thought. Without this basic knowledge, I can only imagine the huge opportunity to improve the way most of us take care of our money.

Unlike football, if we play the game of personal finance with some basic rules in mind, we can ALL be winners. In my own mind, “winning” means having enough money to live the life we want. A worthwhile goal for anyone!

Over the next few weeks, I plan to come up with a few questions of my own to explore and hopefully improve our collective knowledge around personal finances.

I’m hoping you’ll test out your skills and see how you do? Most importantly, participate with an open mind. There’s no shame in admitting that we don’t always know what we don’t know. But there IS shame, if we continue to do nothing about our money (or lack of it) and hope everything works out for the best.

Next week:

Quiz #1- Do You Know What You Don’t Know About CREDIT & DEBT?

Related Posts:

Your Financial Health Matters Too

Take Control Of Your Money With A DIY Financial Plan

My Favourite Reasons To Get Smarter With Money

Proud founder of this blog Let’s Talk About Money, Patricia Gass, CPA, CA, provides personal finance coaching and education to improve your money skills. Follow her on linkedin, twitter or pinterest.

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  1. The Stuffed Pig permalink

    Great advice! Many people feel they should keep everything confidential when they are experiencing difficulties. I personally feel that this could make it harder on them then when they are willing to openly discuss it and work on a solution.

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