My parents are very well educated. In fact, one of them have a PHD and the other one used to teach in a University. When I was little, I was told to study Double E as it was going to be the answer to all that will ever trouble me in the future. Never knew what Double E actually meant; only in University did I find out that Double E meant Electrical Engineering. See my parents suggested it because in their place of employment back then, electrical engineers roamed around as if they owned the place; they well.. did. But it was only years later did I figure out that while I had gotten a great education in Electrical Engineering, the future was not what I wanted. That got me thinking, what else did I miss growing up?
To this end I asked my parents something interesting, what is money? You would expect that two highly educated people would be able to answer such a rudimentary question. To my astonishment they really didn’t know. I can’t fault them because if I randomly asked about 100 people on the street what is money most of them wouldn’t know either (this sounds like a good experiment). However, given that I was always taught to make and save money, shouldn’t we teach children what money is before we ask them to take action on it? After all, shouldn’t we always begin with the why as Simon Sinek suggests.
So my financial literacy education began with this question. My method was to explore it, figure it out for myself. Along the way the path leads to a tree like structure. I broke the question down to several parts:
- What is money?
- Who creates? Who controls it? What are their motivations? How do they do this?
- How do we determine how much money is out there?
- Does money equal wealth?
My research down each of these path is sort of like a tree. Each question led to a branch and each branch led to sub-branches. As I kept on reading, I noted the books that these esteemed authors referenced which grew into further branches. Needless to say I am nowhere near the end of my journey. Or should I say there isn’t really an end as the concept of money is an ever evolving one. But I can start to report some findings.
Over the next few weeks I hope to share some of my understandings in this subject in hopes to aspire others to look into this subject more and provide their interpretation. By sharing knowledge we can empower people to take charge of their financial futures.
After all I am sure I am not the only who grew up being told to save and make money without ever having a clue of what it is.