On April 18, 2022, a financial literacy contest was announced for all readers of this Moneywise column, looking for five winners.
Knowledge and Growth: Financial awareness can help you manage your money better (Image by Mohamed Hassan/pixabay.com)
The contest invited all interested participants to describe in 200 words or less what financial literacy/wellness means to you, and how it helps or can help you improve your financial lifestyle. The focus should be on Bermuda’s financial environment rather than overseas.
Each winner would receive a complimentary paperback copy of The Bermuda Islander Financial Literacy Primer Series – Book One: The Dawn of a New Beginning, a basic financial journal to dramatically improve your lifestyle by myself, a passionate proponent of financial literacy.
Also, the winner would agree to have their wonderful essay published in this column sometime after the contest ends.
There was only one entry!
This result was not surprising.
It takes a lot of courage, determination, and time to share financial concerns and then put those thoughts into a written essay on finances.
This unique entry was an inspirational piece and I want to thank this entrant again for taking the time to share their financial thoughts in preparation for publication.
In addition, the winner received all five books, enabling the transmission of financial information specifically relating to the Bermuda environment, thereby helping other Bermuda residents.
A wonderful added benefit was that I was able to digitally meet with this contest winner who provided further wonderful insights into how an individual’s financial journey has progressed since April 2022, even with additional barriers to inflation.
Here is one person’s financial literacy essay on the journey to financial wellness – provided anonymously:
“As I unexpectedly return to celibacy in the second half of my life, financial literacy has become a matter of urgency and necessity for me.
“Before the turbulent times of the Covid pandemic, the isolation in quarantine, the uncertain depressing work permanence, so filled with unforeseen stressful changes – as in the subsequent loss of a dear family member to illness , I went through my days with a carefree attitude while being happy that my significant other took over the management of the main financial affairs.
“If things got difficult before the end of the month, we would agree to reduce expenses.
“Now, after grieving so many losses, I realize that I am solely responsible for my financial well-being.
“So financial literacy means more than just understanding basic monetary and financial concepts.
“For me, FinLit is about taking responsibility and taking charge of my present and, more importantly, my future.
“FinLit is truly an exploration of self-awareness as I determine what my values are, which then prioritizes my financial goals and allows me to make informed decisions about the financial lifestyle I wish to have.
“FinLit reduces my stress levels regarding finances and my financial future, which in turn gives me a sense of peace, well-being and contentment.
“FinLit is literally a game-changer for me as I reinvent myself, now one person with financial knowledge, know-how and savvy.”
Journey to Financial Consciousness
This person noted that the change in attitude towards managing finances began with the CFA Bermuda financial literacy course in 2021 – this course, so well received, inspired to acquire knowledge to plan the coming.
Then, by submitting the essay to The Royal Gazette formed the beginning of the plan.
Then, reviewing The Dawn of a New Beginning: Bermuda’s First Introduction to Financial Literacy powered the planning process.
Putting financial literacy into action
In a future article, our winner describes the actions planned, implemented and now in place.
What do you appreciate?
The first element our winner mentioned in exploring self-awareness was figuring out what those individual personal values are.
If you ask someone what they appreciate the most, what do you think the answer would be?
Self-esteem, outward display of wealth, your health, your family, your jewelry, your home, your latest collectible, your social status, your faith, your relationship to someone, anything?
You will almost never hear, “I appreciate my intellect and my integrity.” Yet these two values are probably the most important acquisitions you will ever own – and you already have them!
How is value quantified?
• Rare, not much, few can own it, the rest of us can aspire to have it.
• Considered extremely valuable in collective social minds. If diamonds were considered to have the same value as an ordinary saucepan, who would want to own them?
• Appreciates over time: something that may have been used as a chamber pot 5,000 years ago has historical value today
• Ideas, ideas, which were so radical at one time, unsuitable for the contemplation of the ordinary person, are now adapted to the common use of today. Ideas now so valuable that they are patented as intellectual property: inventions, music, thought processes, digital processes and much more.
• Personal integrity, friendship, trust – intrinsic values, how do you value them?
Your thought process now reading this, may be, “Who cares? It just seems like a semantic discussion about nothing.
However, it is much more than that. How we value anything, especially ourselves, almost unwittingly leads to how we make our decisions in:
• Daily Questions
To dive deeper into this topic, listen to my podcast on “Valuing Yourself,” attached to this article.
To be continued.
Readers, I’m always looking for personal stories of how an individual or family handled their finances, or faced a financial challenge, or needed additional information or resources for a financial decision, or would like find out more Moneywise focus on certain topics.
Feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Don’t forget the 2022 CFA Bermuda Financial Literacy Series, part of Bermuda College’s PACE program, which kicks off Wednesday nights on Zoom, 6-8 p.m. for four weeks, starting Wednesday, September 28.
Registration details are available at PACE website.
• Martha Harris Myron is an Islander from Bermuda with connections to the United States. Author of the first primer on financial literacy in Bermuda – the dawn of a new beginning, as well as the Bermuda – Bermy Island Finance Blog. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org