Teach More Financial Literacy? I Don’t Think So!

Mountain Top Screamer 1024x1024 Teach More Financial Literacy? I Don’t Think So!

Yes folks; Financial Literacy Month is almost upon us once again and here come the “mountain top screamers”.  You know them, right?  They’re not too hard to find; just Google Financial Literacy and hundreds of non-profits, politicians, and personal finance guru’s pop up shouting from the mountain top “Teach more financial literacy!”

Here, let me help you:

Wichita legislator Rep. Melody McCray-Miller, a Democrat, says she’s working on a proposal to make sure schools teach children about personal finance from kindergarten through the 12th grade

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Financial Literacy versus Financial Life Building Skills: Part Two

Financial Literacy Blog Post Image 2 1024x681 Financial Literacy versus Financial Life Building Skills: Part Two

In a recent article for Southern California Public Radio online titled States to consider financial literacy requirements for K-12 students, Education Reporter Vanessa Romo wrote about how schools have long tried to impart money management skills to students through a variety of programs such as elective classes in partnership with banks and nonprofit groups, after-school programs that teach economic basics and “life-skills” to round out a student’s academic education.

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What the Psychology of Consumerism Looks Like

keeping up with the joneses What the Psychology of Consumerism Looks Like

If you’re not familiar with the psychology of consumerism, allow me to enlighten you.  If you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and slow your mind down; there…all around you is the psychology of consumerism.  It’s controlled by corporations, mega-stores, and marketers who know you better than you know yourself!

Can you see it? At any time it’s liable to play on your human emotions and even distort the view of how you think others perceive you! Think your fat, feel others see you that way; no problem – buy this treadmill with training video now and don’t worry about any payments; this baby is available interest free and with no payments for 12 months!

But wait; act now and get this money back guarantee to fight off that one brain cell that’s telling you about the fears of potential buyer’s remorse.  But that one brain cell is about to get the living crap beat out of it because now there’s even more to consider; listen to these endless testimonials that may, or may not be real, as they reinforce how wonderful you will look if you buy this baby today!

Through the psychology of consumerism, you are convinced it’s perfectly normal and quite an everyday experience to purchase something from the television at 3am or on a Sunday afternoon infomercial that not 15 minutes ago, you had never even heard of – let alone realized that without this product, your life will suck!

Don’t Stand a Chance Against the Joneses

“Oh crap” your significant other says. The Joneses just bought a brand new Lexus ES; what are we going to do?  “Our lease isn’t up for another 6 months but no way are they going to out-do us!  “Call the dealership honey”, you say, and see if they have a program to get us into a GS; they’re not going to win this neighborhood battle!

What about Jimmy Jones at the office?  That #*@* came to work this week with the new Samsung Galaxy S3 phone that makes my iPhone pale in comparison!  Worse yet, Tammy and Tim have now upgraded too.  Well they’re not going to show me up!  Get on the phone and call Sprint.  I saw an ad in the paper this morning where I can get the phone from them for free with a 2 year contract and a monthly data plan for $104 dollars.  Let’s do this!

Manufactured Crisis

So you have 6 months left on your lease with a car that, for the moment, fits your budget.  You also have an iPhone 4s that you paid cash for from Virgin Mobile and only pay 40 dollars a month for unlimited data and suddenly none of this works for you anymore?  Why not?

The answer is; the psychology of consumerism has provided you with the necessary motivation and drive that will make you want to keep up with the Joneses; but at what costs?  You are about to create a “manufactured crisis” in your personal and financial life that could start you down the path of a serious crash and burn!

Stop Being an Amateur Consumer   

If you read my post Titled Financial Literacy versus Financial Life Building Skills, you would know that through my journey of blogging at the Amateur Consumer, becoming frugal by necessity, and being a member of the Underbanked for so many years have taught me that no matter how financially literate I thought I was, without learning the 3 pillars of financial life building skills, we are all vulnerable to a crash and burn, at any time regardless of profession, income level, or race!

If you read another recent post titled The Cause and the Cure for Debt and Bad Credit, you would have found out that you can’t change a problem with the same mindset that helped get you there in the first place! It means nothing to accelerate the process of credit and financial recovery if you don’t understand the concept of “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”!

A New Direction for the Amateur Consumer

In the coming weeks, the Amateur Consumer Blog will undergo a transformation from my template, to content creation, to my overall mission.  This blog used to be about helping people accelerate the process of credit and financial recovery and for sure, I will continue to write about credit and finances.

But moving forward and beginning in April 2013, this blog will reflect and mirror my own paradigm shift of beating the psychology of consumerism, learning the necessary and critical decision making skills that without, led to my own crash and burn, and passing on the fact that by learning the art of frugality, your life will simplify and improve!

In short, the Amateur Consumer will start teaching you to stop living the dream and start living the plan.  It will also teach you to say, as I have through my own crash and burn; Never Again!

What do you think?  Is there such a thing as the psychology of consumerism or am I full of crap? Oh, and one more thing; do you know the Joneses? Have you ever seen them? Leave your comments below icon smile What the Psychology of Consumerism Looks Like