One of our DoSomething.org members, Megan Lehman, shares her story about how her need for financial education was recognized after her family's business closed and they were steps away from declaring bankruptcy. Read her personal account below.
What would you do if suddenly your whole life was changed in a matter of minutes? You don’t know? That’s okay, I didn’t know either. Well, until it happened to me. In those minutes, my dad explained to me that our family business, a small town grocery store, would be closing its doors to the public for good. I felt like the walls around me were collapsing. My heart started beating faster and adrenaline started pumping through my veins. And in those 5 minutes, a door closed on what I once thought of as my life.
After nearly a year and a half of [no serious buyers], the store had a going out of business sale and my father became unemployed. Dad began finding jobs doing construction, which ended soon. Money was tight, and everyone knew it. As a senior in high school, I was scared. I felt as if we were spinning out of control and I was beginning to feel motion sick.
We waited almost another 2 years before he became a conductor for the railroad and the spinning started coming to a stop. We were not so worried about money anymore. Everything was back to normal, and it was wonderful.
Looking back, I realize that what scared me most was not understanding the financial situation. There I was thinking things were bad, but not too bad, when in reality my parents were only a few days away from declaring bankruptcy. This situation inspired me to start being proactive and taking a dive into financial education.
When I moved away for college, I sat down with a banker and talked about all my options for savings accounts, checking accounts, and other important information that I needed to know before I started using the bank. Then I started using my passion for writing to write financial education articles for a company called Investing Ed, which is a great source of financial tips for students and young adults everywhere.
It is never too soon to start learning about finances. Start talking to your parents, your banker, and search online; whatever you need to do, just do it!