Mark Twain once said, “I never let my studies interfere with my education.” In a world where “education” is more available and accessible than at any time in human history, we have billions of our global community financially suffocating.
Approximately 80% of the planet earns less than $10 a day, which is due in part to the lack of access to “quality” education. On the other hand, we have a different kind of financial hardship due to “overindulgence” in education. Overall student debt in the US has now accumulated to a staggering $1.57 trillion, acting as a financial millstone for an entire generation.
Rarely do we take the time to step back and question the distinction between “schooling” and “education” that Mark Twain alluded to all those years ago. Is education itself rather than access to schooling the fundamental challenge?
Paul O’Mahony, the founder of FUNancial Freedom Ltd and Rethink Academy Ltd has a particular interest in this topic. As the son of two teachers, he was raised through the tried and trusted formula of educating yourself, getting a permanent job, and retiring at sixty, which seemed to work reasonably well until the late 20th century.
What he found however as a graduate of the year 2000, that the surefire formula for success seemed to have changed. At 30 years of age, ten years into his corporate career in Ireland, having followed the formula to the letter, he found himself over half a million dollars in debt and yet considered a “successful “among his peers.
“At 30 years old, I discovered two important distinctions. The first was that wealth and intelligence weren’t necessarily connected, which I wish I had learned a long time ago. Second, we tend to measure financial success based on the letters that follow our names (education degrees) rather than the numbers in our bank accounts,” O’Mahony said.
O’Mahony points to four key reasons why educating kids about personal finance is more important than ever.
1. Our school systems do not equip our young people with the skills they need to thrive in today’s world. Despite the best efforts of excellent teachers around the world, in most cases, the predefined curriculum that dates back decades must be used as the central foundation of the teachings. By the time textbooks are written and published today, they are already out of date.
2. Children and adolescents are actively disengaging from school as they challenge the relevance of learning much of the material they face each day. This can result in them believing from a young age that they are not “smart” and that education is simply not for them. Instead, we could be nurturing the genius within each child and seeing how they could turn it into an entrepreneurial endeavor.
3. Empowering our youth with financial skills from a young age will greatly help reduce the challenges we have with global poverty. Money management is a skill that once you have, stays with you for life. These financial skills can be passed on within and outside of families.
4. It has never been easier to start and generate income from home without the dependency of having to be employed by someone else. Young people today can very likely solve many of the world’s biggest problems, including poverty, when they are shown how to use their most important assets productively and efficiently.
FUNancial Freedom’s goal is to empower children and teens around the world to lead lives of success, fun, and financial prosperity.
Through their training methods, they provide fun, engaging, and above all, incredibly practical skills for the world we live in today, like learning about the different elements of money, how the banking system works, how to make money, and then doing it. grow through savings and invest, including exploring innovative ways to give back, make an impact and help others.
This installment is located within a virtual world similar to the metaverse, which allows children and adolescents to immerse themselves in an environment in which they can feel very comfortable. “The time has come to reinvent what learning means for our children and adolescents today. We must allow them to discover their genius and let it shine,” says O’Mahony.