FINANCIAL LITERACY - STORY OR NUMBERS
July 29, 2017
I'm not a financial expert, or a financial advisor. These are just some things I've learned and think about.
Numbers can tell a story, but can a story help clarify numbers? I don't think so.
When you are thinking about numbers and budgeting, it may be helpful to think things through with a narrative. It may help clarify your motivation, needs, wants, patterns. But when it comes time to discussing the actual finances, story can get in the way.
Imagine this conversation about a proposed vacation:
"I work really hard all year and I deserve to go to Bermuda for a couple of weeks. Just because I will have to go into a little more debt to pay some bills coming due, that's no reason not to go to the beach. It's not that expensive, just air fare and a hotel, but I didn't book the most expensive hotel, and I really need to relax. Remember that time a few years ago that you wanted to buy a new refrigerator and I thought it was a bad idea? Did I tell you not to? No I did not. Well I want a vacation. You have no right to tell me how to spend my money."
Cool story. But where are the numbers? How can anyone make a financial decision based on a story?
How about this, instead?
The caveat. You have to make a budget first!
And, as Suze Orman would say ...."VACATION DENIED!"