Remember the first time you heard the pastor say that “Sin is sin,” meaning if you told just a little white lie or savagely murdered someone you were pretty much in the same boat with God. Wasn’t that a hard pill to swallow? Apparently, it’s a hard pill for many even when this concept is extended to talk about money matters. There’s no separation of what bad decision you get to make because you did or did not go to college. If your issue is renting spinning rims or leasing a car you really can’t afford, the principle remains the same in my holy book of personal finance: poor money management is poor money management. Period.
It makes no difference whether you were educated in “the hood” or at Harvard, if you don’t have personal finance education you will continue to make poor decisions and therefore limit your potential to compete successfully. But, it never fails that when I write a blog post about poor spending behavior, I receive an overwhelming amount of comments from people who want to justify their opinions with “I’m a college graduate . . .” as if that means that A. their thoughts are superior to others or B. they don’t share in the same mismanagement.
Let’s be clear: Having a college degree does not somehow make a person intellectually superior in the area of personal finance. Trust me. I know firsthand. I’m a college graduate who left one of the best institutions on the West Coast with an embarrassing amount of debt that did not include student loans. I had grants, scholarships, parental support and a full time job all four years. I was a Dean’s List student that unfortunately was just ignorant about money. I wanted the t-shirt and Frisbee being offered for signing up for credit cards and eventually received way more than I bargained for, i.e. high interest rates, annual fees and 18 months of putting every extra penny I earned towards debt.