By Patricia Montague, CAE, Chief Executive Officer 2015-01-05 13:44:45
Are You Pennywise? Every January, many of us designate the new year as an opportunity to identify and commit to personal resolutions. Among some of the most common annual goals—diet, exercise and quitting smoking—are those related to money management, whether it’s cutting expenses or saving for a big-ticket item (maybe a house) or a special indulgence (like a vacation). Experts say that most New Year’s resolutions quickly fall by the wayside. But School Nutrition is moving its annual personal development issue to January to help give you the tools to stick to your resolutions about money management and improve your odds for long-term success in this area in 2015. I believe that no matter your age or how knowledgeable you are, there is always something new to learn—especially about money! Consider just what we need to know about financial planning, given that the retirement age in this country is rising, people are living longer and healthcare and long-term care costs continue to skyrocket. For most of us who are Baby Boomers and GenXers, there typically weren’t classes on personal money management offered to us in high school or even college. “Home ec” courses focused on cooking and sewing, while accounting classes were geared to those who wanted to pursue business-based careers. Instead, most of us had to rely on lessons from our parents or simply pick it up as we went along, from opening our first bank accounts, to surviving on a paycheck, to applying for student, car or home loans, to saving for retirement. I’m glad there seems to be a more concerted effort to teach young people today about how to manage money. youngest son is a high school senior, and his will be the first graduating class in our county that is required to take a personal finance class as a graduation requirement. It’s no wonder this became mandatory, because he—and many of his peers—probably wouldn’t have selected personal finance as an elective. Instead, he procrastinated on registration and complained, expecting the class to be “boring.” I’m happy to report that he has since changed his tune! In fact, hearing about the curriculum and topics he is studying makes me wish I had a similar opportunity to take such a class in high school—or even today. It is not too late to improve your savvy about your money. I hope you spend some time this month investing in yourself and your financial future by reading this issue of School Nutrition cover to cover. You might even save it for future reference—well, unless another New Year’s resolution is to de-clutter! May your 2015 get off to a fabulous start!
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