When I was a teenager, I could not wait to get my driver’s license. I had glorious visions of myself: sunglasses-clad, stereo blasting, out on the open road with the wind whipping through my hair, free at last from the confines of Mom picking me up and dropping me off. However before I was allowed the luxury of driving, I had to take Driver’s Education Class. Our dauntless high school football coach would load several of us into the car each week, put his life into our sweaty palms and let us practice our lane changes and three-point turns. Of course, if we started to swerve out of our lane, he was there with the brake on his side of the car to keep us from crashing. I was forced to read driving manuals and watch graphic movies about the horrific results when bad driving happened to good people. Finally, after hours of practice and study, I made my way to the DMV to take the ever-important driving test. My examiner was kind and I was well prepared so- except for a failed parallel parking attempt- I passed. All of those hours of learning to drive left me pretty well equipped for whatever came my way.
Not too long after I became master of my driving domain, I started receiving credit card solicitations in the mail. I had glorious visions of myself: sunglasses-clad, stereo blasting, out on the open road to the mall with the wind whipping through my hair, free at last from the confines of having to pay cash. To my relief, there was no Credit Education Class that I had to take. No manuals to read. No movies to watch about the unfortunate souls on the brink of financial ruin. No coach to put on the brakes before my spending swerved out of control. No ever-important credit education test. No examiner to make sure I knew when to park my credit card. I had a license to charge and I had never been taught how to avoid crashing.Continue reading Financial Ed 101