I’ve run my own insurance agency since 1991. I’m not selling you a blouse or a burger or a BMW. I’m helping you invest your money and protect your health, your property, and your family.
I especially think about this every April, because it’s Financial Literacy Month. For financial experts like myself, we’re conflicted this time of year. On the one hand, we’re glad there’s an entire month when we can drive home the importance of responsible saving and spending. On the other hand…well, my friend Howard Dvorkin, chairman of Debt.com, put it best:
“I simply recognize the limitations of ‘awareness,’ especially when it comes to personal finance,” he wrote during a previous Financial Literacy Month. “Let’s face it, many Americans are aware that they’re burdened with hefty credit card balances, auto loans, and student loans. Many recognize this even as they continue to run up their bills. They do it anyway.”
Howard and I have talked about this frustration. In my world, I see many potential clients who listen to my advice but decide not to follow it. They don’t disagree with me at all. They know they need to create a monthly budget, save for emergencies, and get rid of “ghost spending” like streaming services and gym memberships they don’t use. They just don’t do it. There are three broad reasons for this.
1. So broke, they’re broken
For some people, the reason is simple. They’re so broke, it’s too discouraging to even try to get back to break even. Why create a household budget when there’s no chance of it ever balancing? Why save for emergencies when every day is already a financial emergency?
This is where Financial Literacy Month might actually help. Debt settlement is a powerful option for the most cash-strapped people. They’ll pay pennies on the dollar for the debts they owe. And if they still can’t afford that, there’s always bankruptcy, which has a bad reputation but is an honorable way out of the worst circumstances.
2. So tired, they’re unfocused
Through both my insurance firm and my celebrity activities, I’ve met plenty of smart people who are really dumb about their money. Maybe they had early career success or inherited money from their wealthy family. Maybe they married into money. But they never learned about money, even if they possessed it.
Then the economy sours, and their investments tank. Inflation soars, and they can no longer afford their luxurious spending. Whatever it is, their cavalier attitude toward cash catches up with them. Only then do they get serious about financial literacy.
3. So sluggish, they’re unmotivated
Rich or poor, some folks just don’t want to think about money. They might be the kind of neighbor who also doesn’t mow their lawn, and the kind of roommate who never cleans up after themselves. The plain truth is, there are lots of idle people in this world.
Sadly, when you’re lazy about your money, you hurt more than just yourself. Even if you don’t have a family – and I’ve seen too many parents who just never get around to life insurance to protect their children – being lazy about your personal finances can affect your parents, your significant others, and even your friends.
How Financial Literacy Month can help
In each of these instances, there are multiple, proven solutions. In my experience, most folks don’t know they exist. If Financial Literacy Month can convince just a few hundred Americans to call Debt.com for a free debt analysis, it’s worth it.
Year-round, I’m telling people that Debt.com has experts standing by. On an in-depth phone call, those experts will study your financial picture for free. Then they’ll lay out all your options, without pressuring you to do anything. If you decide to take action, they’ll hold your hand through the process.
Best of all, that can happen any month of the year. But why not start in April?