Yes, it’s odd that a White House that’s up to 300,000,000 people’s eyeballs in debt feels qualified to hand out sound financial advice to young folks, but it’s not half as odd as the advice itself. I couldn’t believe what I was reading!
Unfortunately, I forgot to get a screenshot as proof in case these get taken down later (the White House is sneaksy & tricksy like that), but I guarantee(*) all these were on the site this morning.
(* not a guarantee):
1) You need money to buy things. Or someone else’s money. Permission optional. Which is called a “tax.”
2) You earn money by working. Or you can become “entitled” to it by not working. Either way is fine.
3) You may have to wait before you can buy something you want. If you can’t wait, beat up a nerd and take his lunch money.
4) There’s a difference between things you want and things you need. This difference is unimportant if you’re using nerd lunch money.
5) You need to make choices about how to spend your money. When making choices, consider things like “how much does this cost after sales tax?”, “will this fit under my coat?”, and “is anybody watching me?”. Remember to check the ceiling for cameras and the corners for convex mirrors.
6) It’s good to shop around and compare prices before you buy. If you find a lower price, peel off that sticker and place it on the item you want.
7) It can be costly and dangerous to share information online. To protect yourself, give your money to President Obama’s campaign. Say your name is “Doodad Pro”. List your employer as “Loving” and your occupation as “You.” They won’t check. Total security!
8) Putting your money in a savings account will protect it and pay you interest. Lower than the rate of inflation, and hopefully Occupy protesters won’t set fire to the bank’s records.
9) You should save at least a dime for every dollar you receive. And remember to put away 15 cents on every dollar for taxes, or we’ll put a lien on your skateboard.
10) Entering personal information, like a bank or credit card number, online is risky because someone could steal it. Let the government hold onto your personal information where it’ll be nice & safe until Wikileaks hacks the servers.
11) The sooner you save, the faster your money can grow from compound interest. Don’t worry about how that works if you’re just a dumb ol’ girl. Math is hard.
12) A credit card is like a loan; if you don’t pay your bill in full every month, you’ll be charged interest and owe more than you originally spent. Kinda like when Vito & Knuckles broke your daddy’s kneecaps for not making the vig.
13) When comparing colleges, be sure to consider what each school would cost you. Do NOT give any thought as to the odds of your chosen major being a ticket to gainful employment. That Anthropology degree will net you an easy $7.25 an hour at ANY McDonalds, where you can drop Margaret Mead quotes to your heart’s content.
14) You should avoid using credit cards to buy things you can’t afford to pay for with cash. Just use the numbers on the front of the card, instead. Preferably the front of someone else’s card.
15) Your first paycheck may seem smaller than expected since money is taken out for taxes. To avoid future disappointment, try Googling “under the table.”
16) A great place to save and invest money you earn is in a Roth IRA. That’s where you pay the taxes up front, your earnings grow tax-free, and the money you withdraw after retirement is also tax-free. Unless a future Democrat-controlled Congress decides otherwise. Which they would never do. Trust us. Really.
17) You should use a credit card only if you can pay off the money owed in full each month. Or if Old Navy’s having a really big sale, because that way you can pay off your credit card with all the money you’ll save! [This tip sponsored by Old Navy. Old Navy – The creepiest commercials since Fruity Oaty Bars]
18) You need health insurance. HA! Just kidding! You’re young and healthy and your biggest medical expenses will be condoms and aspirin until you’re at least 30.
19) It’s important to save at least three months’ worth of living expenses in case of an emergency. Plus a shotgun for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. And for God’s sake – CARDIO and DOUBLE TAP, people!
20) Always consider two factors before investing: the risks and the annual expenses. Don’t worry about Projected ROI Solution Matrices, girlie. Math is still hard.
I guess the REAL question here is – if the government thinks this information is vital to teaching children how to handle money, why isn’t it being taught in the government-run, attendance-mandatory school system?