I’ve been back to work full-time for three weeks now and I’m certainly finding it a challenge to keep up with everything I want to do! But there are two things I make time for each day – reading and reflecting. This week I found some personal finance connections between what I read and what I experienced at school.
Connection #1 – Flexibility
The week before school opens is a crazy time. Buildings are still under repair, staffing and schedule changes happen, new students show up to be registered, and the city is still working on road repairs that affect bus routes. And that’s just a few issues…
So this is a time where we ask everyone to be flexible.
This week I read a great post over at the PIE’s (Plan Invest Escape) on being flexible (and on being thankful) about their journey to financial independence. The PIE’s commented that they like to have “plans laid out with as much certainty as possible” but went on to discuss the importance of flexibility too.
And my friend James over at RetirementSavvy discussed the laser focus he has on a retirement date, while also considering the benefits he sees of working longer if needed. He shared both the importance of being focused on a goal, but also having a flexible mindset to deal with matters beyond your control.
In his book, Life Is Simply a Game – Steven Redhead shares a great quote that sums up the connection – “Flexibility is the greatest strength.”
Connection #2 – Responsibility
In our school, we focus on a number of character traits as we help students develop academically, socially, and emotionally. We work hard to try to help kids learn to be responsible for themselves and make good decisions.
There was an easy personal finance connection to kids learning to manage money responsibly and make smart spending decisions. Wouldn’t it be great if every student understood a basic budget and learned the math behind credit cards, interest rates, payday loans, and amortization schedules by the time they left high school?
But who should teach kids about personal finance and money management? Who has that responsibility?
Is it the job of the school? Or the parents/adults at home? And what if the parents/adults had poor role models? Stefan over at The Millennial Budget has a post about the responsibility of teaching financial literacy with many comments and his own thoughts on the subject.
I think personal finance should be a required class at school and I’d ask you to check out this post by Brian over at Debt Discipline if you agree. He has done a lot of work with his local school on the topic of financial literacy and students will benefit from his persistence, patience and efforts. Brian is a great example of modeling responsibility to our kids and to our community as he works to make change!
Connection #3 – Humility
A few weeks ago I was pretty much responsible for myself, my kids and our family, along with our properties and the requirements of a few part-time jobs. But with one “yes” to a temporary job, I have become one of those responsible for over 200 faculty/staff and 1600 students.
This weekend I was preparing a review of our “Emergency Protocols” for opening day. Typing the words “violent intruder” and “fight for your lives” to discuss with faculty next week is something no one should ever have to do. Teachers should be able to teach and kids should be able to learn without things like lockdown drills. But it’s a sad reality we must face.
How does this relate to personal finance?
I also worked with some families this week who face not knowing where they will sleep tonight or where their next meal is coming from. We had to remind teachers that some of our kids are homeless and that others come from struggling families who can’t access the Internet or provide school supplies or field trip money. And that’s a sad reality we must face too.
The Final Connection for the Week
We talk a lot on our blogs about financial independence, early retirement, and side gigs to our full-time jobs, along with investing, dividends, and rental properties. And many bloggers discuss “giving” in their posts and in their budgets. I’ll stick with my school theme this week and connect you with a few of my teacher/blogger friends and how they go about making sure they support others too.
Check out Penny’s post on charitable giving and David’s (aka Finance Superhero) post on how they build giving into their zero-based budget here.
Well that’s my “theme” wrap up for this week. It’s been a busy one but a rewarding one too. I hope you check out some of the great work done by the writer’s I highlighted here today! This is a huge and giving community and it’s where I spend a lot of my time reading. There were dozens of great posts this week and I’m working on a blogroll to highlight even more sites! More on that soon!
Photo Credit: Hans@pixabay.com