Why I Promote Financial Education for the Next Generation
I started my career in nonprofit communications because I believe stories have the power to influence people to help make the world a better place. Little did I know that hearing the story of Tiffany Aliche (aka The Budgetnista) on a podcast several years ago would be my first step toward understanding how access to financial education can change lives. People are able to live life to the fullest when they don’t have to stress about meeting their basic needs. I joined NGPF as their first-ever Marketing Communications Manager in May because I want to be a part of spreading that message more broadly.
Despite my immense privilege of going to college, having U.S.-born parents with advanced degrees, and a middle-class upbringing, I didn’t receive comprehensive information about finance until social media algorithms started serving female-focused content about investing to me.
For three decades, I thought investing was only for rich people and finance bros - not for a woman like me. Although I created financial stability by being good at restricting spending and saving, I was missing out on growth and reaching true financial freedom. Hearing The Budgetnista tell her story inspired me to learn more and change course.
Yet, it still makes me sick to think about how much closer I would be to financial independence today if I had known these concepts sooner. It makes me even more sick to think about how many people with less advantages than me are also missing out on living their best life because no one ever taught them about personal finance.
But now I’m in a position to channel that anger to make things better for the next generation. That’s why I join NGPF in advocating that personal finance education should be offered to all and needs to start in high school or sooner. Financial mistakes and missed opportunities at a young age can affect you for years. We all benefit when everyone has equal access to financial literacy early on and is empowered to use that knowledge to make informed decisions.
I was privileged to get a taste of financial freedom in college. Receiving a full-tuition scholarship meant I didn’t have to work long hours during the academic year or take out student loans. Instead, I was able to use my time outside the classroom to take advantage of the whole experience - I ran cross country, played in the orchestra, was in Model UN, wrote for the school paper, and volunteered.
When people aren’t saddled with debt, they are better able to stay healthy, create, explore, and give back to their communities. Imagine what our country could be like if everyone had a chance to live this way. By providing financial education, we can start to unlock our individual gifts for collective good. I look forward to continuing to share this vision via NGPF communications.