In case you didn’t know, April 1st kicks off National Financial Literacy Month here in the U.S. Given my body of work, you’d think I’d be over the moon about this.
Because, yes, it’s a great time to:
- promote paying attention to your overall financial well-being;
- invite you to interrogate your financial situation and your relationship with money;
- help you look for ways to plug your money leaks and identify opportunities you may be overlooking; and
- check-in on the progress you’re making on your goals with one quarter down and three more to go.
I LOVE all of these endeavors.
And yet, I hate the term “financial literacy.”
I won’t rehash all the reasons why as I’ve been quite vocal about what I believe is wrong with the current focus, approach, and promotion of financial literacy. If you’re curious, you can read about it here.
But in summary, part of my issue with the traditional approach to financial literacy (in April or at any time of the year) is the emphasis on obtaining more information.
It’s why, however you get your news, you’re likely going to see lots of how-to content this month about saving, investing, spending, credit, insurance, and earning, etc. Or, what I call the usual financial suspects.
Granted, there are times when more information regarding these dimensions of money is required, as that knowledge will usually help you make a smarter decision.
For example: is a SIMPLE 401k Plan better than a SEP IRA; is this particular business credit card better suited for your needs more than another; is whole or term life insurance best for you and your family?
So, I’m not saying information is unimportant.
And furthermore, what to do with that wisdom.
I frequently say, “insight is greater than information” and “context matters.”
These two values are deeply embedded in why I emphasize the role of choices when it comes to money, and why I follow a framework – when I’m coaching or speaking – that integrates the financial, the emotional, and the personal that helps clients make decisions (small and large) about the role of money in their lives and/or business. (I endeavor to do the same in the content I create, too.)
It is also why I’d love for you to join me in doing something different to kick-off this April’s Financial Literacy Month.
When it comes to money, there are a lot of skills you can outsource to a financial professional. You can hire a CPA for your taxes; you can hire a financial advisor to manage your assets; you can download an app to help you track your money.
Whether that’s talking about it with family members, friends, business colleagues, or clients. Because for some people, talking about money is so incredibly uncomfortable, they avoid it, punting it to “someday” in the future – often to the detriment of the health of their financial well-being.
That’s why I came up with this idea:
What if I anonymously collected the conversations you’re not having, but need to.
And what if I took the coming weeks to share my suggestions on how to jump-start these important – even if awkward – conversations?
Hence, this invitation: If you’re game for joining me to do something different, tell me about a conversation you know you need to have, but are avoiding at all costs for any myriad of reasons. You can do so via this form. It is completely anonymous and asks just one – though, admittedly, not so simple – question.
Depending upon how many replies I get, I may respond to a single submission or several at a time, if I notice a theme. Likewise, my response may be in writing or in the form of a video or audio recording.
The more details you share about the situation (sans real names or any other personally identifiable information), the more specific I can get with my suggestions.