Our first Well-Being series was kicked off the morning of Tuesday 2/17/15 with Dr. Margaret Brooks discussing the ideology behind Financial Well-Being. Dr. Brooks shared some candid experiences growing up, her journey to where she is today, and some of the organizations she volunteers for in order to help spread financial literacy. It was inspiring to hear someone with a relatable background to myself as well as relatable to our student population.
Dr. Brooks brought up a Ted Talk, “Are We in Control of Our Decisions” which brought to light the concept of “decision illusions; understanding our cognitive limitations”. The Ted Talk presenter used the example of the amount of people willing to participate in the organ donation process through the DMV in Europe. Some countries had a low rate of participation while other countries had close to 100% participation. The answer for this was revealed in the way the question was asked on the DMV form. The question on the DMV form for the countries with 100% participation was designed that if the box wasn’t checked, you are enrolled into the organ donation program. Which meant that people who overlooked the question, or who didn’t understand it, did not check the box and therefore became an organ donor. The Ted Talk presenter used this example to discuss the need to understand our cognitive limitations.
Dr. Brooks brought this to light in our group discussion around Lottery Winners who resulted in bankruptcy or a failed end. We discussed what the reasons for these negative results were and shared several thoughts as to help us understand why. The need for financial literacy is especially important for our student population as well as our employees. The chapter offered the following tips for promoting financial well-being:
– Set up automatic defaults for bills and contributions to savings
– Give to others/donate
– Spend money on experiences
– Wealth = financial security + your happiness with your standard of living
– Identify you influences of financial decisions
Do you have a plan to become financially well? How would you define your financial wellbeing?
George Marshall Jr is a Residence Director in Woodward Hall.