When I tell parents that I’m working on a site to help people with money, one of the first things I often hear is, “Oh, great, I’ll sign my child up so they don’t make the mistakes I made!” One such parent forwarded me this news item today: High school dropouts earn far less money.
Adults who don’t finish high school in the U.S. earn 65 percent of what people who have high school degrees make, according to a new report comparing industrialized nations.
These articles — and similar ones on retirement planning, compound interest, and flossing — all seem to hit parents in the same place. If only I’d known that then!
There’s a fantastic impulse in wanting the best for the next generation, and I’m sure that Wesabe will be a big help for any teenagers or young adults who decide they want to participate. I’m not sure, though, if I would have joined myself at that age. If I’m at all good with money now, it’s because I’ve fought for many years to get better at it, and that effort would not have come naturally while I was in high school. Certainly the best way to keep me from joining would have been a suggestion I do so from the adults in my life! It may be that different kinds of sites are needed for different ages, just as MySpace tends to serve high school-age people and Facebook is more for people in college. But maybe not — Flickr (one of our favorite topics of discussion at Wesabe) seems to span a lot of age groups.
We’ll see what happens. We’re designing, though, to make the community as good as we can make it for anyone who decides to join.