Piloting Financial Literacy

Mr. Nelson is piloting a program with our Seniors to help them learn more about money! Throughout the globe, many people struggle with their finances; this is primarily because of their knowledge gap. There is a disconnect between what they know and what they should know to succeed. With the help of a guest speaker, Mr. Christopher Pownall, the Seniors will test drive a financial literacy course that, if successful, could become a program for the entire Upper School. 
Mr. Pownall is a managing director at the Estero branch of Northwestern Mutual Fund, as well as a financial advisor. He empathizes with the uncertainty many people face when it comes to their finances. “I remember I got my own bank account at 18. I brought my mum with me to the bank for help, and even then I could not for the life of me figure out why there were different kinds of bank accounts.” He has since devoted his career to educating his clients about their funds. 

Over the course of the next eight weeks, Mr. Pownall will host a small seminar during the advisory time for interested Seniors who want to know more about money basics. The first week’s lesson was “Money 101, or the Importance of Budgeting”. Mr. Pownall explained what budgets are and why they are so important. “There are spenders and savers in this world, and most often, it is the spenders who end up working for the savers. Millionaires and Billionaires alike will tell you the key to staying rich for so long is that they save.” 

Mr. Pownall also walked them through how to build a budget and monitor cash flows. “The beauty of technology is that it’s always evolving: you can use an excel spreadsheet if that’s what you’re comfortable with, but there are also apps online that can eliminate the human error.” He recommended they follow the 20:60:20 rule: first save 20 percent, then spend 60 percent (or less) on necessary expenses, and only after that, 20 percent can go to discretionary expenses or “fun stuff”. We cannot wait to see what else they learn!