Two things that tend to affect our brains in the same way are money and sex. They are also two things that can get us into the most trouble. So, as a Finance Professor, I thought I would explain five reasons why Financial education is at least as important than sex education and why they should both be taught in high school.
1) Because its relevant: We teach our kids the birds and the bees (sometimes), have them reading old English textbooks that they don’t understand and force them to learn at least 5,000 things that they will never use for the rest of their lives. If we are teaching all of this semi-worthless nonsense, why not teach a child to balance a check book too?
2) Because we think about both nearly every single day for the rest of our adult life: I bet you that you’ve thought about sex at least 20 times today and thought about money at least 10. Unless you’re broke, in which case, it might be the reverse.
3) Because they relate to one another in more ways than you can imagine: A man who doesn’t have his money right isn’t exactly going to be in good standing with his significant other. When I wrote the book, “Financial Lovemaking,” I recall interviewing dozens of women and being absolutely fascinated by how many of them would talk about their husband’s financial inadequacies more than anything else. It was almost as if they’d rather have had him cheat with another woman, as long as the bills were paid.
4) Because both of them open the door for us to get screwed by other people: The easiest way to ruin your life is to let an important part of your life be controlled by an irresponsible person. That goes for both your body or your bank account. I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received from people who’ve been financially devastated by their relationship choices. You don’t want to join that club.
5) Because managing both in an intelligent way can lead to a tremendous amount of bliss: There’s nothing better than being able to say, “I’ve got plenty of money in my bank account, and my sex life is outstanding.” In fact, the status of your bank account might impact your sex life, but that’s neither here nor there.
Either way, the management of your money and your personal life can impact your happiness in more ways than one, so it might make sense for our kids to be fully educated on both. Black kids in particular need to be taught a) how to save, b) how to own things, c) how to earn money from multiple sources, and d) the importance of education in protecting their financial future.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.