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.”
Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be ~ John Wooden
Have you ever noticed how some criticism can play havoc with your hearing and scrambles your brain? Words are suddenly hard to decipher and the ego is instantly drawing up offensive plays to counter act the severe disapproval. It becomes almost impossible to achieve a workable solution when one party is on the attack while the other is strategizing a bloody coup d’état.
Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it ~ anonymous
Come on, don’t judge me based on a few of my personal traits, it’s just not fair, rather look at the whole me, then decide if I am worthy. And if you are evaluating my credit worthiness, impacting the rest of my life, the analysis better be meticulous, expansive, insightful, and timely.
A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle – Kahlil Gibran
Open banking just got a giant goose from the President of the United States. In an executive order, President Biden strongly suggested that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) endorses guidelines forcing banks to loosen their grip on consumers’ bank data. Time for banks to “give it up” to the actual account owners so they can download their banking information and share it with other banks and 3rd party service providers. Wow, this is big!