Financial Puberty

It was 5th grade. I was a young ninja about to embark on an epic journey. A journey in to the unknown. A journey in to the land of cracking voices, armpit hair, and a world where girls towered over their male classmates. That’s right, it was a journey through puberty.

I was 10 years old. Sitting in sex education, with a bunch of 5th grade boys, when my teacher uttered a word I never thought I would hear him say. He said “Class, we are all a bunch of mature men right? Well being that we are all mature I’m going to say a word, and when I say that word I expect each of you to act like adults. Today, we are going to talk about a man’s penis.”

Whoa, hold the phone! Did my teacher really just say the P word!? Surely he didn’t mean to say that….did he? Turns out he did. Not only did he use the P word about a bajillion more times, but we also watched movies, read textbooks, and had discussions about a whole slew of things I knew nothing about…

“Wait, what? What happens to girls every month? Ewwwww.”

The whole idea of puberty, adjusting, and changing was brand spankin’ new to me and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been privy to any of this knowledge before. Fifth grade sex education was my wake up call to adulthood.

Well just like I had an “awakening” to the physical changes I would endure over the course of my life, I have also had a financial awakening. That’s right, I’m going through financial puberty right now and I’m proud to admit it.

All through high school and college I knew nothing about money, nor did I have a desire to learn about it. Sadly, I graduated college not even knowing how to transfer money from my savings account to my checking account. I was financially prepubescent.

But just like I went through sex education in 5th grade, my day of financial education also came. It was after a conversation with a good buddy of mine. He opened my eyes to the beauty of money management, the power of compound interest, and the importance of saving. I began financial puberty in late 2007.

I’m not fully developed just yet, but I am definitely on the right path. Just as puberty lasts a good ten years, I can’t expect to know everything there is about money in just a couple years. It is a continual process. One that I am excited about completing. Hopefully in another five or so years, I will be on the tale end of this financial puberty gig and can put my finances on autopilot and coast through life.

Do you remember going through sex education? How old/what grade were you in when you went through it? Did it make you giggle every time your teacher talked about genitalia (or was I the only one that was that immature)? When did you begin financial puberty? What caused it (a conversation? a book?)

p.s. Please forgive my crazy analogies. I’ve now compared puberty to finances, debt to unicorns, and checking accounts to wiping your butt. I have no idea where these ideas come from. I’m sorry.