Canadian Money Forum banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,936 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Did anyone catch that episode yesterday? I start work very early in the morning and thus arrive home early enough to catch this. Some pretty scary stories of average joe financial mismanagement in that show. The number 70% was thrown around in the show, relating to people who are in debt, or overextended? Can't remember exactly but it was quite interesting, assuming those stories are true. The people with these money issues were all successful working class married couples with good incomes.

I think the main problem is people don't seem willing to say NO to all these offers and spending opportunities. It's like people get a buzz on all this stuff. The one woman spent 1 of 4 waking minutes talking on her da-n cell phone! This costs money!!!

According to what I gathered from the show, the majority of the population does not know how to properly manage their money. I am quite aware of that, so how do we fix it? All 32 million of us can't attend the Oprah show to get help. I think we need to reconfigure our educational systems to teach our children the things that really matter. Instead of wasting their time in high school with othello and complicated mathematics that most will never apply in their lifetime, why don't they have a class that teaches high school students all about money management? Teach them how to invest, manage, save, plan for death and retirement and to scrimp when times are tough. These are the life lessons that come with experience, but we could avoid the disastrous consequences suffered by people like Oprah's guests by having a good money management class/foundation early in life.

Anyway those are my initial thoughts. Anyone else catch this show? Discuss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,423 Posts
I guess I missed that episode. ;)

Nothing wrong with watching Oprah for entertainment, but that kind of show is the last place I would get any kind of information on any topic at all.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
419 Posts
I happened to come across the show last night while channel flipping.

The first family? OMG 7K a year to get your hair done? The whole family eats out all day?

The other 2 weren't much better. I really dont feel sorry for these people at all.

I max out my RSP and TFSA. Mortgage will be paid off when retired.
Bills are all paid on time.

If I want something and I have cash i buy it. If I want something and I dont have the cash to buy, then I dont buy it. Period.

Seems pretty easy to me, and I didn't need an "expert" to tell me how to do it. I can thank my parents for that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,252 Posts
The first family? OMG 7K a year to get your hair done? The whole family eats out all day?

The other 2 weren't much better. I really dont feel sorry for these people at all.
I watched Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Affair recently.
He portrayed several American families that had lost their 20 to 30 year old homes to the mortgage refinancing crisis.
He appeared to lay the blame on the doorsteps of the banks, brokers, and Mr. Greenspan who jointly egged on these people to re-mortgage their family homes that had already been paid off or close to being paid off.
Then they took all the new mortgage money and spent it all away - on consumer goods like cars, electronics, vacations, lifestyle, etc.

While the banks, Mr. Greenspan and all the other "parasites of society" certainly own some of the blame, I wonder what were these people thinking?
Did it not occur to them even once that re-mortgaging a paid off home and blowing away all the money is not such a good idea?
There was no little voice in their head that told them to stop?
Most of the families profiled were low-to-middle income deep southern or mid-western families - traditionally the population belts that are expected to be more fiscally conservative.

I can only guess that it must be the lure of "free" money that made these people throw common sense out of the window.
And as they are now finding out, there is no free money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,936 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I sense that people are not able to see past marketing and hype. I also sense that parents are not teaching their kids how to say 'No' to things. Lastly, our society conditions people to 'go with the flow' and don't be a stick in the mud etc.

My mom taught me at a very young age to work for my money, keep it in a savings account to monitor the balance and only to spend money on the really important things. When my friends were all at the corner store buying candy and other treats, I was being urged/steered to save. I hated it. But it turns out my mom was right. Today, those skills I learned at the age of 10 are invaluable as they carry me through the financial ups and downs of life.

Why isn't every parent doing this? Why aren't there more people like Suze Orman and the like lobbying the gov't to educate (in schools) young (and old) people how to manage their money? That would be one lobby effort I could actually support.

People need to think for themselves.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
50 Posts
I don't believe education in schools is the answer. Was it taught to your parents in school? My parents were very frugal with their money having lived through the depression on a farm on prairies. My in-laws on the other hand were always about instant gratification. Even though he was at general Manager level and had to manage million $ budgets for his employer they were incapable of not spending money.

While one planned for an inheritance, the other stated he wanted to die with a dollar in his pocket.

I think its a moral question. You can teach the mechanics of how the system works its hard to teach morality.

Morality isn't the right word but can't find word that fits.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,508 Posts
I sense that people are not able to see past marketing and hype. I also sense that parents are not teaching their kids how to say 'No' to things. Lastly, our society conditions people to 'go with the flow' and don't be a stick in the mud etc.

My mom taught me at a very young age to work for my money, keep it in a savings account to monitor the balance and only to spend money on the really important things. When my friends were all at the corner store buying candy and other treats, I was being urged/steered to save. I hated it. But it turns out my mom was right. Today, those skills I learned at the age of 10 are invaluable as they carry me through the financial ups and downs of life.

Why isn't every parent doing this? Why aren't there more people like Suze Orman and the like lobbying the gov't to educate (in schools) young (and old) people how to manage their money? That would be one lobby effort I could actually support.

People need to think for themselves.
I don't know if it's really parents, although teaching and learning at a young age should have a positive benefit. I was not really taught anything, but at a pretty young age I was stashing bills in those glass peanut butter jars and hiding it lol.

To comment on Oprah, I did see a show on money. I also saw another show after it, about how every women needs five types of shoes. :confused: Stop spending money-spend money. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,464 Posts
lol about the peanut butter jars and the Oprah hypocrisy!

FWIW expensive items of clothing are routinely characterized as "investment pieces" by womens' magazines. ORLY? I'm building a diversified portfolio of ... clothing? :rolleyes:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
156 Posts
My family and I were talking about this yesterday. In highschool I can only remember a couple classes in home economics that actually had to do with money, we did WAY more classes where we baked cookies... the point was brought up that it should be the parents responsibility to teach budgeting skills, but a lot of parents can't grasp the concept of teaching right from wrong or don't do drugs or don't break the law or ... Also, how can they teach it if they don't have a clue what they are doing either?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,933 Posts
To comment on Oprah, I did see a show on money. I also saw another show after it, about how every women needs five types of shoes. :confused:
Didn't you know that some women are shoe & purse-aholics?! :rolleyes:
I was at Harbourfront a couple of weeks ago and had to laugh at how many women I saw strolling along the boardwalk wearing expensive, high heel stilettos, no way they were even comfortable. Speaking of purses:

"Rent Online Designer Handbags by Chanel, BE & D, Coach, Tracy Reese, Gucci, Botkier, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada and More...
Sex and the City - Apparently, what women want today - are what these gals have got! Especially when it comes to what designer handbag you carry, the shoes you strut around in, and how stylish you choose to accessorize your total look with! Guess what? You can have it all! Savvy women are doing it up right, with a little financial creativity!...."

'Savvy women; financial creativity', eh? What's the world coming to?? :confused:

I didn't see the Oprah episode in question, but have seen other versions and IMHO, such individuals are just irresponsible spenders with too much time on their hands. I wonder how people managed their lives before all the advice shows came along - Oprah, Dr. Phil, Supernanny, Dr. Oz, Naked Chef, What Not To Wear, etc., etc. Have some people lost all common-sense about basic rules of life?!

MoneyGal, thanks for the video. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,936 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Common sense is out the window in a society that is driven by financial/lobby interests. All these junk vendors and $ lenders would be quaking in their boots if everyone suddenly started thinking for themselves and properly managing their money!

Parents or schools, either or both, someone has to teach kids this stuff. But because it's not happening, those kids grow up and pass on this irresponsibility to their kids. And so on.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
why don't they have a class that teaches high school students all about money management? Teach them how to invest, manage, save, plan for death and retirement and to scrimp when times are tough.
Or even the basics.... I found in school I learned nothing about budgeting, money management basics... nada. More would be better, but for crying out loud, why not teach kids the basics? Most kids I knew had no clue how to open a savings account, or how to budget their (albeit small) allowance or income they did have!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,241 Posts
I agree with what you're saying in principle, but the reality is, most people do not know how to do most of this stuff. So they can't teach their children because they don't know how to do it themselves.

I sense that people are not able to see past marketing and hype. I also sense that parents are not teaching their kids how to say 'No' to things. Lastly, our society conditions people to 'go with the flow' and don't be a stick in the mud etc.

My mom taught me at a very young age to work for my money, keep it in a savings account to monitor the balance and only to spend money on the really important things. When my friends were all at the corner store buying candy and other treats, I was being urged/steered to save. I hated it. But it turns out my mom was right. Today, those skills I learned at the age of 10 are invaluable as they carry me through the financial ups and downs of life.

Why isn't every parent doing this? Why aren't there more people like Suze Orman and the like lobbying the gov't to educate (in schools) young (and old) people how to manage their money? That would be one lobby effort I could actually support.

People need to think for themselves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,464 Posts
Send them all to my Brownie unit. They all get their "managing money" badges, which involves opening a bank account, identifying financial goals (including savings), and learning about compound interest. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,061 Posts
I got an interesting insight into this from my stepdaughter: she told us frankly that she wants to spend fast and party hard now while she's young, because once she settles down and has kids she'll have to be more responsible.

The problem is that it's going to be a lot harder for her to break these early ingrained habits than she thinks. She went deep into credit card debt when she was just 18, and her paycheques are now being garnished by a collection agency (she was just throwing the bills away when they arrived in the mail). She cut up her credit card, and also learned the hard way that she cannot manage a cellphone contract responsibly, so now has a pay-as-you-go phone. But beyond those lessons she hasn't learned much: she goes on a spending spree the moment each paycheque arrives, and it's all gone in a few days.

I do get the feeling that more people these days live for the moment and don't think about the future; I don't know if people are pessimistic that there will be a future, or whether they just assume that they'll figure things out when they get there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
420 Posts
I use to be a credit counsellor with a non-profit credit counselling agency and it may have made me a bit cynical. I think that common sense is either innate or learned at a very young age - people for the most part either don't want to change, can't be bothered or just do not get it. There are exceptions, of course, but it is fair to say that the 80/20 rule applies: 80% of people in this situation will not choose to do things differently and 20% will change to some extent.

We live in the "information age" and there is plenty of resources and free information available for anybody who wants it. I don't have a lot of sympathy for the adults, but I do feel for the children.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
419 Posts
Or even the basics.... I found in school I learned nothing about budgeting, money management basics... nada. More would be better, but for crying out loud, why not teach kids the basics? Most kids I knew had no clue how to open a savings account, or how to budget their (albeit small) allowance or income they did have!
They cant teach common sense money management because they are too busy teaching about masturbation, and how it is OK to have 2 mommies or 2 daddies.

Even the math they teach is crap. It is more important to understand what you are doing rather than to get the correct answer??????? WTF?

IF you understand what you are doing then shouldnt you get the right answer?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
169 Posts
IF you understand what you are doing then shouldnt you get the right answer?
Maybe that's the premise - if they understand why, the probability that they will get the right answer will be increased.

Scientists want to understand how to fish and why to fish. Fishing itself isn't as important to them.

In Mathematics especially, its far to easy to teach your brain to be a calculator than it is to truly understood the principles. Think about how they teach you to memorize your 'times table'. Heck, even understanding that 3x3 = 3 + 3 + 3 is still a shortcut to the real reasoning behind it.

Keeping on topic - I'm a strong advocate that financial management is something that we should be teaching our children. School is about learning, and at these levels should be about learning in general. To argue whether school or parents are responsible for this is fairly irrelevant. It is clear from the issues of today, that the children of tomorrow will need to learn these things. This is how we better our society.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,054 Posts
I agree with you Dana. I have seen this type of stuff over and over.

I have a friend who married a guy who inherited a house with a $100,000 mortgage. They have over the years downgraded their house three times every time increasing the mortgage & refinancing. They have now sold their house and rent.

A few days after I called her and the money is burning a hole in her pocket. She's at a sale and she want me to come over. I said to her I don't need anything why would I go shopping? She's like but you can get really great deals on stuff. I'm like but I don't need anything.

My math works like this

I spent 0$ on stuff I don't need

She spent a whack of money she didn't have to spend on crap she didn't need.

She also buys stuff off of TV all the damn time lol

I went to her house one day and she had bought this gadget to stretch your neck. It's a water bag you fill and you hang it over a door and you attach it to a collar around your neck and it stretched your neck. OMG I almost died laughing.

Through the years she has bought tons of exercise gadgets too. One time she bought a exercise chair to watch TV in. You sit in it and move your butt back and forth. The demonstrations on TV don't exactly do this chair justice. It's one thing to see a 20 year old slim gorgeous woman use this thing, it's another thing to see a 50 year old overweight woman huff and puff trying to show me how great her new gadget is.

So it's been entertaining watching the trainwreck of financial mismanagement. I talk to her about it sometimes but she just can't/won't change.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top