Thinking Citizen Blog — Why Every Kid (and adult) Should Keep an Economics, Finance, and Business Journal
Thinking Citizen Blog — Tuesday is Economics, Finance, and Business Day
Today’s topic: Why Every Kid (and adult) Should Keep an Economics, Finance, and Business Journal
Three reasons: money matters, good record-keeping is the key to learning from the past, poor record-keeping can result in horrible practical headaches and loss of huge amounts of money. And that’s just for starters. Here are some more. Economics is hard and counter-intuitive. Finance is tricky — the devil is in the details. Running a successful business is a lot harder than most people think and deserving of the same level of respect as that freely bestowed on orchestra conductors, great athletic coaches, and talk show hosts. Today, a focus on three practical headaches that can result from poor record keeping. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE ABANDONED PROPERTY OFFICE — New York State alone has $16.5 billion — is some of it yours?
1. I can’t remember how I first found out about it. Perhaps 15 years ago. I had an account at a bank. Did not open any of my monthly statements for a while. Then at some point, I realized that the monthly statements had stopped coming.
2. So I went to the bank and found out that the account had been closed for lack of activity. Where was the money? It had reverted to the state!!!!!!!!
3. When I went to the state (Massachusetts) I found out they had other money that belonged to me — a little from here, a little bit from there.
NB: Massachusetts had been very happy collecting my taxes every year. Could they have perhaps sent me a check for the money of mine they already had?
THE MARVEL OF THE SHRINKING BANK ACCOUNT — I am with Elizabeth Warren on this one
1. When my first child was born, I set up an interest-bearing account at the local bank. Stopped checking the balance after a while.
2. Then I checked it a few years later — expecting to see a larger number because of, you know, the miracle of compound interest.
3. Instead, the balance had declined by over 80%. Why? A little monthly fee that had been imposed at a certain point.
NB: I complained. They apologized profusely. They really should not have done that to a minor’s account!!!!!’
THE IRS AND WHAT YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAUGHT K-12 BUT WERE NOT
1. Did you know that there is a “Bill of Duties” as well as a “Bill or Rights”? The former is written in invisible ink. To read it you need to get a special invisible-ink-reader from the IRS.
2. The First Duty is keeping good records. Otherwise, you will get in trouble with the IRS or some regulatory agency if they decide for whatever reason to audit you.
3. Not taught that in school? at home? Join the club.
NB: Archiving, organization, record-keeping are essential life skills that should be re-enforced every year in school. I meant to say every day.
YOUR TURN — Please share:
a.) the coolest thing you learned this week related to business, economics, finance.
b.) the coolest thing you learned in your life related to business, economics, finance.
c.) anything at all related to business, economics, finance.
d.) anything at all