From Buttons to Bucks and Back Again
Luellen Lockwood, MBA, CPA, EA | September 15th, 2017
Do you remember taking Home Economics in junior or senior high? If your answer is yes, then you and I are certainly dating ourselves. As corny as it may sound to the younger generations, we learned a lot of basics in that class: how to cook and bake, how to run a household, home safety, and simple techniques like sewing on a button. I remember learning how to position the button on the garment, make neat stitches, use a spacer, and “shank” the thread under the button (my Mother’s term).
But for today’s generation, if you lose a button off of your favorite shirt and don’t know how to sew on a new one, what do you do?
- Ask your Mom to sew it on?
- Take it to your local dry cleaners and have them sew it on?
- Use a safety pin in place of the button?
- Watch a YouTube ‘How To’ video?
- Or, worst case scenario, never wear the shirt again or even throw it out?
All of this because you never learned how to sew on a button.
Now, let’s move from buttons to bucks. Managing your money or “bucks” is another basic yet very important technique that we need to learn, but where do we go to learn this? Financial literacy is not taught in school, which to me is so sad and a disservice to our students.
So, you have to find another place that teaches these skills.
I have the honor and pleasure of teaching Financial Literacy for Hopelink, a wonderful local organization working to end poverty in our community by offering programs that teach skills and knowledge needed to exit poverty. In my current set of classes, my students are learning about budgeting, credit, banking, financial safety and financial recovery. A book that I recommend to my students is “Why Didn’t They Teach Me This In School?” by Cary Siegel. The author gives short and easy-to-read sections on 99 relevant personal money management principles. This book is appropriate for anyone in high school and older.
Another place for folks to learn about these skills is from family members. With that said, the hope is to learn good money management skills and not to perpetuate bad ones. Maybe your family members also use a financial advisor, such as Avier, who is happy to work with other family generations on educating and setting up a good plan for “bucks” management.
Regardless of where you find good financial literary learning and education, it is imperative that you do find it. If you understand money: how to save, how to manage your debt and credit, how to invest, and how to plan for your financial future, then you are on the way to setting yourself up for success.
So, now back to that missing button on your favorite shirt. By learning how to sew on the button, you have accomplished several things:
- You don’t have to spend money for someone else to fix it or to replace it
- You aren’t wasting the money you originally spent on the shirt because you aren’t wearing it
- The best part: You have to pleasure of wearing your favorite shirt again, with all of its buttons in place and looking good!