June 8, 2021
When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s wonder I can think at all. ~ Simon & Garfunkel
Even at my wise age, I still feel ill-equipped for all of life’s financial situations, and somewhat resentful that my K-12 primary years didn’t even prepare me to write a check. Today’s teachers are focusing a majority of efforts on prepping students for academic and IQ test-taking, rather than teaching critical life skills especially in financial readiness. According to a 2020 survey by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), “only 6 states require stand-alone personal finance courses in high school.” Financial preparedness in the formative years can be a game changer that may eliminate the lifelong consequences of poor financial decisions.
Generations of missed educational opportunities that should have started in kindergarten never occurred, teaching students about: managing money, bank accounts, credit scores, missed payments, interest rates, inflation, credit/debit cards, budgeting, balancing check books, loans, line-of-credits, mortgages, renting, school loans, resumes, interviews, professional networking, and the list goes on. So many costly economic mistakes result in crippling debt, missed opportunities, and a lifetime of financial and professional struggles.
Our team at RIBBIT.ai agrees with CEE that “all people deserve the tools to live a life of opportunity.” Financial education can start at any age, obviously the younger the better, but teachable moments, if we choose to open our minds and listen, are part of our everyday tapestry. According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) “about 66% of the American population is considered financially illiterate”. FINRA describes financial literacy as “the cognitive understanding of financial components and skills such as budgeting, investing, borrowing, taxation and personal financial management. The absence of such skills is referred to as being financially illiterate.”
Another alarming statistic according to FINRA is “Americans are approximately $12.58 trillion in debt.” As a nation, we can and must do better! As consumers, if we understood the underlying traps under every “good deal”, we might be more cautious before signing the dotted line. As RIBBIT.ai, a 23-year combination of Cash Flow Solutions payments and Transaction Science data solutions, our team of experts understands the components of financial stability, and how to bolster it once it starts to crumble.
Our country is drowning in data, information about everything we do, so why not use that knowledge to help consumers build better financial lives? The RIBBIT.ai team is sold on the idea, inspired to use our deep bank data insights as tools to educate individual consumers about living their smartest financial life. Rick Fiorito, RIBBIT.ai’s COO, says, “Our adaptive behavioral analytics applied to the data available through open banking can level the playing field for many Americans”. Steven Thompson, RIBBIT.ai’s Chief Data Scientist, says, “Behavior Made Clear TM is more than just understanding the banking history. It is about providing affordability recommendations that not only lift up consumers but fit their lifestyle.”
It’s great to be great, but it’s greater to be human ~ Will Rogers
One of my father and husband’s favorite TV characters was Andy Rooney, who appeared at the end of every 60 Minutes episode with a short critique on the condition of the world. Andy was the dessert at the end of the informative and serious news program, culminating with a rise of his bushy eyebrows, a twinkle in his eyes, and his witty, often acerbic insights about the way things were. And was often said, he could say so much with just a few words.
Tomorrow doesn’t matter, for I have lived today ~ Horace
A young, grey cat with the greenest eyes wandered into our yard last week and made serious eye contact appearing to ask for my assistance. Not particularly a cat lover, I hoped she would go away, but after hours of continual pacing and meowing, I poured some milk into a bowl. Needless to say, Greyling knew she had found a friend and yes, I did name her.
Success is a ladder than cannot be climbed with your hands in your pockets ~ American proverb
In a country often filled with broken promises and lip service, it’s refreshing to look at the track record of the Electronic Payments Association (NACHA), who introduced Same Day ACH for credits 5 years ago. NACHA, the rule maker and governing body, for most financial transactions in the U.S., promised yearly enhancements to Same Day ACH including adding debits, expanding the hours to submit payments, and increasing the dollar limit for each payment. The payment’s world salutes NACHA for their honesty, transparency, commitment, and follow-thru.