‘Personal Finance Online’ was not possible when I was at school in Belfast, Ireland – mainly because there was no real internet either used or taught. I don’t even think I was taught about goal setting in school either, not directly at least – I mean, no-one sat me down and showed me a template or explained the details behind goals motivation theory or anything like that.
In fact, my teachers never taught me about personal finance, online or otherwise, but the indirect lessons I learned about goal setting in school, from the complex rules of the playground, sport and even chasing girls, actually left me well placed to set goals and create my own way to create goals. Albeit not actually inside a real framework at all.
After all, it became second nature to choose what I wanted to achieve, and stubbornly do anything to get it – exams, trophies, even friends with cars.
I never was an Educator, but I hold them in very high regard – they have such a lot of responsibility to shape the minds of our children.
Belfast, where I grew up, had teachers, professors and kindergarten nurseries just like any other place, each with their own view of personal finance and never shared with students or even each other. Educators today have so much more opportunity to shape the health of this nation because they can use tools to teach personal finance online
How I Learned Goal Setting In School
From an early age, life was not easy in Belfast. There was no such thing as a free lunch, and if a kid wanted to have ‘stuff’ then that kid had to go to the bank of Mom and Dad, go without, or get a job.
I took a job as a paperboy.
I’d set times for the round, and race myself against the clock, lost in imagination. I’d see how many smiling visits it took to secure tips at Christmas, and I made sure all my customers knew about my birthday, well in advance.
In School, I knew the bus timetable and the exact time it took to the stop from every single exit from the school so I could time my journey.
I was a fiercely competitive sports wannabe in Athletics, so became used to goal setting in school for weight, speed, time, strength and timetables – everything was measured, everything focused on goal achievement.
What Has Goal Setting In School Got To Do With Personal Finance Online?
At first glance, nothing really links these things together, but actually, now that it is possible to do personal finance online, then I actually believe that schools should be taking the lead in teaching the kids all about it. They should be teaching Financial Goal Setting In School right alongside all the other achievement and assessment methodologies.
You see, as a kid, goal setting is all about getting what you want, striving for something desired and the recognition that comes with getting it, achievement of goals.
As an adult, these same emotional and psychological drivers can be used in improving this country’s personal finance – online. It is cheaper, easier, consistent and instant.
Adults in our country have little or idea either about goal setting or personal finance – while our kids grow up online. Teaching personal finance online makes absolute sense.
How to Set Financial Goals.
The list of critical items which are easily done with any personal finance online package or software come down the following
How To Budget
How To Save
The Relativity of Goals in Goal Setting
The Value of Earnings
Personal finance online is so much better than a goal setting worksheet because the templates, the shape and direction of the calculations are prearranged and thought through by professional designers and educators.
All that remains for the kid, the adult or the user, is to make choices in the face of limited resources and the value of something not chosen.
Personally, I wish I’d learned these skills and had incorporated money management into my schooling – I’m convinced I’d be a wiser, richer and happier man today, but it’s not all bad.
I now teach all my children about money, about personal finance and about goal setting, and I use personal finance online tools to do it.
Either way, people in Belfast are only beginning to understand the power of achievement, and the global financial crisis is stimulating more interest and focus on personal finance through necessity.
I hope that these two initially unrelated issues can be fused together by the few people clever enough to know how to choose with limited resources, and be happy with the outcome.
Mark Donnan is A former CEO in Financial Services and the author of the personal finance books Negotiating Breathing Space with your Creditors, and Debt Management Secrets, and is the creator of the only online video series to reveal the 30 secrets of Mastering Money.